Abstract

We analyze the question whether or not quantum theory should be used to describe single particles. Our final result is that a rational basis for such an ’individuality interpretation’ does not exist. A critical examination of three principles, supporting the individuality interpretation, leads to the result that no one of these principles seems to be realized in nature. The well-known controversy characterized by the names of Einstein (EPR), Bohr and Bell is analyzed. EPR proved ’predictive incompleteness’ of quantum theory, which implies that no individuality interpretation exists. Contrary to the common opinion, Bell’s proof of ’metaphysical completeness’ does not invalidate EPR’s proof because two crucially different meanings of ’completeness’ are involved. The failure to distinguish between these two meanings is closely related to a fundamentally deterministic world view, which dominated the thinking of the 19th century and determines our thinking even today.