JAIRO ROLDÁN CH.

On the assumptions of completeness, conceptual economy, and universality of quantum mechanics, and taking into account the developments linked to decoherence, one concludes that physical reality has only an epistemic nature. It is fundamental then to make a distinction between ontological reality, constituted by everything that does not depend at all on the collectivity of human beings, nor on their decisions or limitations, nor on their existence, and empirical reality, constituted by everything that not being ontological is, however, intersubjective. The fact that the direct presence of consciousness is not required to complete a quantum phenomenon implies that quantum phenomena are not mere “appearances to consciousness”. Empirical reality, as conceived in this paper, is not reducible to mere “appearances to consciousness”. Complementarity, that was proposed by Niels Bohr as a conceptual framework to answer the problems presented by the interpretation of quantum mechanics, is considered here as a way of talking about the empirical reality that goes beyond the simple description of experimental results, or better still, the observer’s perceptions of such results. It aims to describe not ontological reality, but empirical reality. It is proposed that the state vector represents, in general, infinite potentialities that are actualized when a quantum phenomenon is completed. Such potentialities, unlike the Aristotelian and the one suggested by Heisenberg, are epistemic and not ontological. The infinite potentialities of empirical reality are taken as an argument to claim that ontological reality is infinite, complementarity being the manner in which infinite ontological reality is manifested to the finite mind. The possibility that complementarity constitutes a general framework that can be applied to other areas of knowledge is based on an analysis of the relationship between theory and observation. Two possible examples of the use of complementarity in areas different from quantum mechanics are presented, one in thermodynamics and another in biology. Given that logic does not impose the mutual exclusion of two complementary concepts, there isn’t any inconsistency implied by complementarity from the point of view of classical or ordinary logic: one uses ordinary logic in each experimentally defined context. Consequently, there is no need for any new logic.

Artigo
Cadernos de História e Filosofia da Ciência
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