The Measurement Act in Quantum Physics
Until the advent of modern quantum theory with its profoundly statistical nature, most uncritical scientists probably espoused a doctrine of epistemological realism which presumed, rather boldly, that the mechanistic world described by the classical theories constituted quite literally a model, a facsimile, of ontological reality. With the empirical failures of mechanism and the striking successes of the irreducibly probabilistic quantum theory, the prevailing philosophical inclinations of physical theorists shifted during the 1920s toward epistemological idealism. Unfortunately, the considerable critical merits of the latter, an enlightened approach to science founded by Kant centuries before, were almost lost as physicists of the so-called Copenhagen school extrapolated idealism into solipsism until the orthodox natural philosophy of quantum physics had degenerated to a subjectivistic blend of physics and psychology wherein physical states of physical systems could be altered by the mere deliverance of information into the consciousness of the experimenter.
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