Foundations of Physics

, Volume 34, Issue 8, pp 1249–1266 | Cite as

A Semantic Approach to the Completeness Problem in Quantum Mechanics

  • Claudio Garola
  • Sandro Sozzo


The old Bohr–Einstein debate about the completeness of quantum mechanics (QM) was held on an ontological ground. The completeness problem becomes more tractable, however, if it is preliminarily discussed from a semantic viewpoint. Indeed every physical theory adopts, explicitly or not, a truth theory for its observative language, in terms of which the notions of semantic objectivity and semantic completeness of the physical theory can be introduced and inquired. In particular, standard QM adopts a verificationist theory of truth that implies its semantic nonobjectivity; moreover, we show in this paper that standard QM is semantically complete, which matches Bohr's thesis. On the other hand, one of the authors has provided a Semantic Realism (or SR) interpretation of QM that adopts a Tarskian theory of truth as correspondence for the observative language of QM (which was previously mantained to be impossible); according to this interpretation QM is semantically objective, yet incomplete, which matches EPR's thesis. Thus, standard QM and the SR interpretation of QM come to opposite conclusions. These can be reconciled within an integrationist perspective that interpretes non-Tarskian theories of truth as theories of metalinguistic concepts different from truth.

quantum mechanics completeness objectivity verificationism theories of truth 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claudio Garola
    • 1
  • Sandro Sozzo
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Fisica dell'Università and Sezione INFN, 73100 LecceItaly; e-mail:

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