The Philosophy of Physics

Author: Roberto Torretti

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521565714

Category: Philosophy

Page: 512

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Pursues the development of physics from Galileo and Newton to Einstein and the founders of quantum mechanics.

Appearance and Reality

An Introduction to the Philosophy of Physics

Author: Peter Kosso

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 9780195115154

Category: Philosophy

Page: 196

View: 6258

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Appearance and Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Physics addresses quantum mechanics and relativity and their philosophical implications, focusing on whether these theories of modern physics can help us know nature as it really is, or only as it appears to us. The author clearly explains the foundational concepts and principles of both quantum mechanics and relativity and then uses them to argue that we can know more than mere appearances, and that we can know to some extent the way things really are. He argues that modern physics gives us reason to believe that we can know some things about the objective, real world, but he also acknowledges that we cannot know everything, which results in a position he calls "realistic realism." This book is not a survey of possible philosophical interpretations of modern physics, nor does it leap from a caricature of the physics to some wildly alarming metaphysics. Instead, it is careful with the physics and true to the evidence in arriving at its own realistic conclusions. It presents the physics without mathematics, and makes extensive use of diagrams and analogies to explain important ideas. Engaging and accessible, Appearance and Reality serves as an ideal introduction for anyone interested in the intersection of philosophy and physics, including students in philosophy of physics and philosophy of science courses.

The Philosophy of Physics

Author: Dean Rickles

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1509509402

Category: Science

Page: 212

View: 7891

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Does the future exist already? What is space? Are time machines physically possible? What is quantum mechanical reality like? Are there many universes? Is there a ‘true’ geometry of the universe? Why does there appear to be an arrow of time? Do humans play a special role in the world? In this unique introductory book, Dean Rickles guides the reader through these and other core questions that keep philosophers of physics up at night. He discusses the three pillars of modern physics (quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics, and the theories of relativity), in addition to more cutting-edge themes such as econophysics, quantum gravity, quantum computers, and gauge theories. The book’s approach is based on the idea that philosophy of physics is a kind of ‘interpretation game’ in which we try to map physical theories onto our world. But the rules of this game often lead to a multiplicity of possible victors: rarely do we encounter a simple answer. The Philosophy of Physics offers a highly accessible introduction to the latest developments in this exciting field. Written in a lively style, with many visual examples, it will appeal to beginner-level students in both physics and philosophy.

The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Physics

Author: Robert Batterman

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0195392043

Category: Philosophy

Page: 688

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This Oxford Handbook provides an overview of many of the topics that currently engage philosophers of physics. It surveys new issues and the problems that have become a focus of attention in recent years. It also provides up-to-date discussions of the still very important problems that dominated the field in the past. In the late 20th Century, the philosophy of physics was largely focused on orthodox Quantum Mechanics and Relativity Theory. The measurement problem, the question of the possibility of hidden variables, and the nature of quantum locality dominated the literature on the quantum mechanics, whereas questions about relationalism vs. substantivalism, and issues about underdetermination of theories dominated the literature on spacetime. These issues still receive considerable attention from philosophers, but many have shifted their attentions to other questions related to quantum mechanics and to spacetime theories. Quantum field theory has become a major focus, particularly from the point of view of algebraic foundations. Concurrent with these trends, there has been a focus on understanding gauge invariance and symmetries. The philosophy of physics has evolved even further in recent years with attention being paid to theories that, for the most part, were largely ignored in the past. For example, the relationship between thermodynamics and statistical mechanics—-once thought to be a paradigm instance of unproblematic theory reduction—-is now a hotly debated topic. The implicit, and sometimes explicit, reductionist methodology of both philosophers and physicists has been severely criticized and attention has now turned to the explanatory and descriptive roles of "non-fundamental,'' phenomenological theories. This shift of attention includes "old'' theories such as classical mechanics, once deemed to be of little philosophical interest. Furthermore, some philosophers have become more interested in "less fundamental'' contemporary physics such as condensed matter theory. Questions abound with implications for the nature of models, idealizations, and explanation in physics. This Handbook showcases all these aspects of this complex and dynamic discipline.

An Introduction to the Philosophy of Physics

Locality, Fields, Energy, and Mass

Author: Marc Lange

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

ISBN: 9780631225010

Category: Science

Page: 344

View: 4065

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This book combines physics, philosophy, and history in a radical new approach to introducing the philosophy of physics. It leads the reader through several central problems in the philosophy of physics by tracing their connections to a single issue: whether a cause must be spatiotemporally local to its effect, or whether action at a distance can occur

Philosophy Of Physics

Author: Lawrence Sklar

Publisher: CRC Press

ISBN: 042997793X

Category: Science

Page: 246

View: 5181

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The study of the physical world had its origins in philosophy, and, two-and-one-half millennia later, the scientific advances of the twentieth century are bringing the two fields closer together again. So argues Lawrence Sklar in this brilliant new text on the philosophy of physics.Aimed at students of both disciplines, Philosophy of Physics is a broad overview of the problems of contemporary philosophy of physics that readers of all levels of sophistication should find accessible and engaging. Professor Sklar's talent for clarity and accuracy is on display throughout as he guides students through the key problems: the nature of space and time, the problems of probability and irreversibility in statistical mechanics, and, of course, the many notorious problems raised by quantum mechanics.Integrated by the theme of the interconnectedness of philosophy and science, and linked by many references to the history of both disciplines, Philosophy of Physics is always clear, while remaining faithful to the complexity and integrity of the issues. It will take its place as a classic text in a field of fundamental intellectual importance.

Philosophy of Physics

Quantum Theory

Author: Tim Maudlin

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 069118352X

Category: Philosophy

Page: 256

View: 6552

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A sophisticated and original introduction to the philosophy of quantum mechanics from one of the world’s leading philosophers of physics In this book, Tim Maudlin, one of the world’s leading philosophers of physics, offers a sophisticated, original introduction to the philosophy of quantum mechanics. The briefest, clearest, and most refined account of his influential approach to the subject, the book will be invaluable to all students of philosophy and physics. Quantum mechanics holds a unique place in the history of physics. It has produced the most accurate predictions of any scientific theory, but, more astonishing, there has never been any agreement about what the theory implies about physical reality. Maudlin argues that the very term “quantum theory” is a misnomer. A proper physical theory should clearly describe what is there and what it does—yet standard textbooks present quantum mechanics as a predictive recipe in search of a physical theory. In contrast, Maudlin explores three proper theories that recover the quantum predictions: the indeterministic wavefunction collapse theory of Ghirardi, Rimini, and Weber; the deterministic particle theory of deBroglie and Bohm; and the conceptually challenging Many Worlds theory of Everett. Each offers a radically different proposal for the nature of physical reality, but Maudlin shows that none of them are what they are generally taken to be.

Niels Bohr and the Philosophy of Physics

Twenty-First-Century Perspectives

Author: Jan Faye,Henry Folse

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1350035122

Category: Philosophy

Page: 368

View: 5549

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Niels Bohr and Philosophy of Physics: Twenty-First Century Perspectives examines the philosophical views, influences and legacy of the Nobel Prize physicist and philosophical spokesman of the quantum revolution, Niels Bohr. The sixteen contributions in this collection by some of the best contemporary philosophers and physicists writing on Bohr's philosophy today all carefully distinguish his subtle and unique interpretation of quantum mechanics from views often imputed to him under the banner of the “Copenhagen Interpretation.” With respect to philosophical influences on Bohr's outlook, the contributors analyse prominent similarities between his viewpoint and Kantian ways of thinking, the views of the Danish philosopher Harald Høffding, and themes characteristic of American pragmatism. In recognizing the importance of Bohr's epistemological naturalism they examine his defence of the indispensability of classical concepts from a variety of different perspectives. This collection shows us that Bohr's interpretation of quantum mechanics, now nearly a century old, still has the power to shed light on a variety of issues that have arisen only since his lifetime, as well as decoherence theory and other non-collapse interpretations. Balancing historical themes with contemporary discussions, Niels Bohr and the Philosophy of Physics establishes Bohr's on-going contribution to the philosophy of physics and examines his place in the history of philosophy.

Holism in Philosophy of Mind and Philosophy of Physics

Author: M. Esfeld

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9780792370031

Category: Philosophy

Page: 366

View: 1372

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The topic of this book is a comparison between holism in the philosophy and language and social holism on the one hand and holism about space-time and quantum systems on the other hand. The main claim is that holism in the humanities and holism in fundamental physics come under the same substantial, general conception of holism. That is to say: arguments to the effect that the holism of the mental is unscientific or that the mental is separated from the physical owing to holism are not sound. The holism of the mental fits into a world-view that bases itself on scientific realism. The addressees of this book are all those who care about our view of the world and ourselves in the spirit of an argumentative examination of different positions. No familiarity with physics is presupposed.

Between Rationalism and Empiricism

Selected Papers in the Philosophy of Physics

Author: Erhard Scheibe

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9780387985206

Category: Science

Page: 627

View: 9113

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Scheibe is one of the most important philosophers of science in Germany. He has written extensively on all the problems that confront the philosophy of physics: rationalism vs. empiricism; reductionism; the foundations of quantum mechanics; space-time, and much more. Since little of his work has been translated into English, he is not yet well known internationally. However, this collection of some 40 of his papers will remedy this unfortunate situation.