A Semantic Analysis of Niels Bohr’s Philosophy of Quantum Theory

  • B. C. Van Fraassen
  • C. A. Hooker
Part of the The University of Western Ontario Series in Philosophy of Science book series (WONS, volume 6c)


Niels Bohr is justly famed for his contributions to the understanding of physics in general and quantum theory in particular and almost equally notorious for the alleged obscurity of his doctrines. In this paper we develop an essentially semantical interpretation of Bohr’s central doctrines and offer a precise logical characterization of the doctrines we attribute to Bohr. Our characterization revolves essentially around the representation of a class of non-standard conditional sentences. The technical core of the paper is concerned with the development of an extended theory of conditional probabilities to deal with the representation of these conditionals in the context of quantum theory. In the end, we are not only able to offer a precise characterization of our Bohrian position but show how quantum logic is in one sense an answer to the question of the logic of these conditional sentences.


Conditional Probability Quantum Theory Popper Function Classical Concept Quantum Logic 
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  1. [1]
    Hooker, C.A. (ed.), Contemporary Research in the Foundations and Philosophy of Ouantum Theory. D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland; 1973.Google Scholar
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    Hooker, C. A., ‘The Nature of Quantum Mechanical Reality: Einstein Versus Bohr’, pp. 67–302 in R. Colodney (ed.), Paradox and Paradigm in Pittsburgh Studies in the Philosophy of Science, Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1972.Google Scholar
  3. [3]
    van Fraassen, B. C., ‘Probality of Conditionals’, Volume I, pp. 261–301.Google Scholar
  4. [4]
    van Fraassen, B. C., ‘Semantical Analysis of Quantum Logic’, pp. 80–113 in ref. [1].Google Scholar

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht-Holland 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. C. Van Fraassen
  • C. A. Hooker

There are no affiliations available

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