Physics and Philosophy: Selected Essays

Physics and Philosophy: Selected Essays

by H. Margenau


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This book is intended for people interested in physics and its philosophy. for those who regard physics as an essential component of modern culture rather than merely a tool for industry or war. Indeed this volume is addressed to those students, teachers and research workers who enjoy learning, teaching or doing physics, and are in the habit of pausing once in a while to ponder over key physical concepts and hypotheses and to wonder whether received theories are as perfect as textbooks would have us believe and, if not, how they might be improved. Henry Margenau, recently retired from Yale University as Eugene Higgins Professor of Physics and Philosophy, is the most important philosopher of physics of his generation, and indeed one of the most eminent philosophers of science of our century. He introduced and elucidated the notion of the correspondence rule. He claimed and showed, in the heyday of positivism, that physics has metaphysical presuppositions. He was the first to realize that quantum mechanics can do without von Neumann's projection postulat- and that was as far back as 1936. He clarified the physics and the philosophy of Pauli's exclusion principle at a time when it seemed mysterious. He was the first physicist to publish a philosophical paper in a physics journal, which he did as early as 1941. He was also one of the rare scientists who proclaimed the need for a scientific approach to value theory and ethics.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9789027709011
Publisher: Springer Netherlands
Publication date: 10/31/1978
Series: Episteme , #6
Edition description: 1978
Pages: 405
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.24(d)

Table of Contents

I Metascience: Philosophical Analysis of Scientific Truth.- 1 The Problem of Physical Explanation.- 2 Probability and Causality in Quantum Physics.- 3 Meaning and Scientific Status of Causality.- 4 Methodology of Modern Physics.- 5 Metaphysical Elements in Physics.- 6 Is the Mathematical Explanation of Physical Data Unique?.- II Fundamental Problems of 20th Century Physics.- 7 Probability, Many-Valued Logics and Physics.- 8 On the Frequency Theory of Probability.- 9 Can Time Flow Backwards?.- 10 Causality in Quantum Electrodynamics.- 11 Relativity: An Epistemological Appraisal.- 12 Philosophical Problems Concerning the Meaning of Measurement in Physics.- 13 Bacon and Modern Physics: a Confrontation.- III Science and Human Affairs.- 14 Western Culture, Scientific Method and the Problem of Ethics.- 15 Physical versus Historical Reality.- 16 The New View of Man in His Physical Environment.- 17 Science and Human Affairs.- 18 The New Style of Science.- IV Issues Beyond the Boundaries of Present Science.- 19 Phenomenology and Physics.- 20 Physics and Ontology.- 21 Faith and Physics.- 22 Metaethics.- 23 The Pursuit of Significance.- 24 Note on Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness.- 25 Religious Doctrine and Natural Science.- List of Publications.

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