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Who Invented the “Copenhagen Interpretation”? A Study in Mythology

Don Howard
Philosophy of Science
Vol. 71, No. 5, Proceedings of the 2002 Biennial Meeting of The Philosophy of Science AssociationPart II: Symposia PapersEdited by Sandra D. Mitchell (December 2004), pp. 669-682
DOI: 10.1086/425941
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/425941
Page Count: 14
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Who Invented the “Copenhagen Interpretation”? A Study in Mythology
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Abstract

What is commonly known as the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, regarded as representing a unitary Copenhagen point of view, differs significantly from Bohr’s complementarity interpretation, which does not employ wave packet collapse in its account of measurement and does not accord the subjective observer any privileged role in measurement. It is argued that the Copenhagen interpretation is an invention of the mid‐1950s, for which Heisenberg is chiefly responsible, various other physicists and philosophers, including Bohm, Feyerabend, Hanson, and Popper, having further promoted the invention in the service of their own philosophical agendas.

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