A Transcendental Account of Correspondence and Complementarity

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    • Pages : 317 à 327
    • ISBN : 978-1-4020-9509-2
    • DOI : 10.1007/978-1-4020-9510-8_19
    • Date de création : 04-01-2011
    • Dernière mise à jour : 22-02-2015



    The aim of this work is to analyse the epistemological role of the Bohrian notions of correspondence and complementarity from a transcendental perspective. We argue that the principle of correspondence is regulative in the strict Kantian sense. In particular, we maintain that until the introduction of complementarity this principle functions as a maxim for the reflection upon nature in the attempt to exhibit concepts of physical objects directly in intuition. On the contrary, from the point of view of complementarity, the principle of correspondence guides the reflection when symbolic analogies are established. This transcendental reading of Bohr's thought enables us to account for the conceptual development of his interpretation of quantum theory from 1913 to the Como Lecture in 1927. – In the first part of this paper, we discuss the minimal Kantian framework necessary for our investigation. Secondly, we study the history of the notion of correspondence, from its origins in 1913 to the Bohr–Kramers–Slater's theory. We turn further to the notion of complementarity and its connection with the question of symbolic knowledge in quantum mechanics. Finally, we analyse the role of correspondence in the framework of complementarity.