It is sometimes claimed that quantum mechanics undermines realism—that it should be taken only as an instrumental recipe, not as a description of the world. If so, then quantum mechanics has no implications for metaphysics. However, this chapter makes the case for a realistic interpretation of quantum mechanics. The EPR argument that quantum mechanics is an incomplete description of the world is presented, together with Bohr’s response. Bell’s theorem is explained, which shows that, subject to some plausible assumptions, no completion of quantum mechanics is possible. However, those assumptions can be challenged, leaving open several avenues for defending a realistic interpretation of quantum mechanics.
Keywords: quantum mechanics, realism, instrumentalism, EPR, Bohr, Bell’s theorem