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Philosophy of Physics

Philosophy of Physics PDF Author: M. Bunge
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9789027702531
Category : Philosophy
Languages : en
Pages : 258

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Book Description
This book deals with some of the current issues in the philosophy, methodology and foundations of physics. Some such problems are: - Do mathematical formalisms interpret themselves or is it necessary to adjoin them interpretation assumptions, and if so how are these as sumptions to be framed? - What are physical theories about: physical systems or laboratory operations or both or neither? - How are the basic concepts of a theory to be introduced: by ref erence to measurements or by explicit definition or axiomatically? - What is the use ofaxiomatics in physics? - How are the various physical theories inter-related: like Chinese boxes or in more complex ways? - What is the role of analogy in the construction and in the inter pretation of physical theories? In particular, are classical analogues like those of particle and wave indispensable in quantum theories? - What is the role of the apparatus in quantum phenomena and what is the place of measurement theory in quantum mechanics? - How does a theory face experiment: single-handed or with the help of further theories? These and several other questions of the kind are met with by the research physicist, the physics teacher and the physics student in their everyday work. If dodged they will recur. And a wrong answer to them may obscure the understanding of what has been achieved and may even hamper further advancement. Philosophy, methodology and foundations, like rose bushes, are enjoyable when cultivated but become ugly and thorny when neglected.

Philosophy of Physics

Philosophy of Physics PDF Author: M. Bunge
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9789027702531
Category : Philosophy
Languages : en
Pages : 258

View

Book Description
This book deals with some of the current issues in the philosophy, methodology and foundations of physics. Some such problems are: - Do mathematical formalisms interpret themselves or is it necessary to adjoin them interpretation assumptions, and if so how are these as sumptions to be framed? - What are physical theories about: physical systems or laboratory operations or both or neither? - How are the basic concepts of a theory to be introduced: by ref erence to measurements or by explicit definition or axiomatically? - What is the use ofaxiomatics in physics? - How are the various physical theories inter-related: like Chinese boxes or in more complex ways? - What is the role of analogy in the construction and in the inter pretation of physical theories? In particular, are classical analogues like those of particle and wave indispensable in quantum theories? - What is the role of the apparatus in quantum phenomena and what is the place of measurement theory in quantum mechanics? - How does a theory face experiment: single-handed or with the help of further theories? These and several other questions of the kind are met with by the research physicist, the physics teacher and the physics student in their everyday work. If dodged they will recur. And a wrong answer to them may obscure the understanding of what has been achieved and may even hamper further advancement. Philosophy, methodology and foundations, like rose bushes, are enjoyable when cultivated but become ugly and thorny when neglected.

Niels Bohr's Philosophy of Physics

Niels Bohr's Philosophy of Physics PDF Author: D. R. Murdoch
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521379274
Category : Science
Languages : en
Pages : 294

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Book Description
This book gives a clear and comprehensive exposition of Niels Bohr's philosophy of physics. Bohr's ideas are of major importance, for they are the source of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum physics; yet they are obscure, and call for the sort of close analysis that this book provides. The book describes the historical background of the physics from which Bohr's ideas grew. The core of the book is a detailed analysis of Bohr's arguments for complementarity and of the interpretation which he put upon it. Special emphasis is placed throughout on the contrasting views of Einstein, and the great debate between Bohr and Einstein is thoroughly examined. The book traces the philosophical influences on Bohr, and unravels the realist and anti-realist strands in his thinking. Bohr's philosophy is critically assessed in the light of recent developments in the foundations of quantum physics (the work of Bell and others) and in philosophy (the realism-anti-realism debate) and it is revealed as being much more subtle and sophisticated than it is generally taken to be. While the book will be of interest to specialists, it is written in a style that will make it accessible to those who have no specialist knowledge of the relevant physics and philosophy.

The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Physics

The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Physics PDF Author: Eleanor Knox
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 131722714X
Category : Philosophy
Languages : en
Pages : 786

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Book Description
The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Physics is a comprehensive and authoritative guide to the state of the art in the philosophy of physics. It comprisess 54 self-contained chapters written by leading philosophers of physics at both senior and junior levels, making it the most thorough and detailed volume of its type on the market – nearly every major perspective in the field is represented. The Companion’s 54 chapters are organized into 12 parts. The first seven parts cover all of the major physical theories investigated by philosophers of physics today, and the last five explore key themes that unite the study of these theories. I. Newtonian Mechanics II. Special Relativity III. General Relativity IV. Non-Relativistic Quantum Theory V. Quantum Field Theory VI. Quantum Gravity VII. Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics VIII. Explanation IX. Intertheoretic Relations X. Symmetries XI. Metaphysics XII. Cosmology The difficulty level of the chapters has been carefully pitched so as to offer both accessible summaries for those new to philosophy of physics and standard reference points for active researchers on the front lines. An introductory chapter by the editors maps out the field, and each part also begins with a short summary that places the individual chapters in context. The volume will be indispensable to any serious student or scholar of philosophy of physics.

Philosophy Of Physics

Philosophy Of Physics PDF Author: Lawrence Sklar
Publisher: Westview Press
ISBN:
Category : Philosophy
Languages : en
Pages : 272

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Book Description
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

Philosophy of Physics PDF Author: Tim Maudlin
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691190674
Category : Philosophy
Languages : en
Pages : 256

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Book Description
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.

The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Physics

The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Physics PDF Author: Robert W. Batterman
Publisher: Oxford Handbooks
ISBN: 9780190855185
Category : Science
Languages : en
Pages : 704

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Book Description
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.

Philosophy of Physics: A Very Short Introduction

Philosophy of Physics: A Very Short Introduction PDF Author: David Wallace
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0192545493
Category : Science
Languages : en
Pages : 152

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Book Description
Very Short Introductions: Brilliant, Sharp, Inspiring Philosophy of physics is concerned with the deepest theories of modern physics - notably quantum theory, our theories of space, time and symmetry, and thermal physics - and their strange, even bizarre conceptual implications. A deeper understanding of these theories helps both physics, through pointing the way to new theories and new applications, and philosophy, through seeing how our worldview has to change in the light of what we learn from physics. This Very Short Introduction explores the core topics in philosophy of physics through three key themes. The first - the nature of space, time, and motion - begins by considering the philosophical puzzles that led Isaac Newton to propose the existence of absolute space, and then discusses how those puzzles change - but do not disappear - in the context of the revolutions in our understanding of space and time that came first from special, and then from general, relativity. The second - the emergence of irreversible behavior in statistical mechanics - considers how the microscopic laws of physics, which know of no distinction between past and future, can be compatible with the melting of ice, the cooling of coffee, the passing of youth, and all the other ways in which the large-scale world distinguishes past from future. The last section discusses quantum theory - the foundation of most of modern physics, yet mysterious to this day. It explains just why quantum theory is so difficult to make sense of, how we might nonetheless attempt to do it, and why the question has been highly relevant to the development of physics, and continues to be so. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

The Philosophy Behind Physics

The Philosophy Behind Physics PDF Author: Thomas A. Brody
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 3642789781
Category : Science
Languages : en
Pages : 355

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Book Description
Thomas Brody had one of the most powerful and wide-ranging intellects of his generation. Although primarily a physicist who worked on statistical prob lems in nuclear physics, on probability theory and on computational physics he had an extensive knowledge of the philosophy of science and of philosophy, and was fluent in many languages. He is well-known among physicists for the Brody-Moshinsky transformation but his extensive work on probability and on the philosophy of science remained almost unknown. This was because the originality of his ideas entailed many lengthy battles with uncomprehending referees, and he frequently published in Mexican journals of limited circula tion. In addition, his strongly critical spirit inhibited his willingness to publish his ideas. He was always most concerned by the very unsatisfactory situation in the philosophy of physics, that is largely due to the generally poor knowledge that physicists and philosophers have of each other's disciplines. Philosophers of science write at length about physics without any detailed first-hand knowl edge of how research is actually carried out. Physicists, for their part, often implicitly assume naive or erroneous philosophical ideas, and this often hinders their scientific work, besides spreading further confusion if they try to give an account of what they are doing.

Philosophy and Spacetime Physics

Philosophy and Spacetime Physics PDF Author: Lawrence Sklar
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520061804
Category : Philosophy
Languages : en
Pages : 335

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Book Description
Twelve essays explore the philosophy of science in general and the physical sciences in particular

Phenomenological Approaches to Physics

Phenomenological Approaches to Physics PDF Author: Harald A. Wiltsche
Publisher: Springer Nature
ISBN: 3030469735
Category : Science
Languages : en
Pages : 263

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Book Description
This book offers fresh perspective on the role of phenomenology in the philosophy of physics which opens new avenues for discussion among physicists, "standard" philosophers of physics and philosophers with phenomenological leanings. Much has been written on the interrelations between philosophy and physics in the late 19th and early 20th century, and on the emergence of philosophy of science as an autonomous philosophical sub-discipline. This book is about the under-explored role of phenomenology in the development and the philosophical interpretation of 20th century physics. Part 1 examines questions about the origins and value of phenomenological approaches to physics. Does the work of classical phenomenologists such as Husserl, Merleau-Ponty or Heidegger contain elements of systematic value to both the practice and our philosophical understanding of physics? How did classical phenomenology influence “standard” philosophy of science in the Anglo-American and other traditions? Part 2 probes questions on the role of phenomenology in the philosophies of physics and science: - Can phenomenology help to solve “Wigner’s puzzle”, the problem of the "unreasonable effectiveness" of mathematics in describing, explaining and predicting empirical phenomena? - Does phenomenology allow better understanding of the principle of gauge invariance at the core of the standard model of contemporary particle physics? - Does the phenomenological notion of “Lifeworld” stand in opposition to the “scientific metaphysics” movement, or is there potential for dialogue? Part 3 examines the measurement problem. Is the solution outlined by Fritz London and Edmond Bauer merely a re-statement of von Neumann’s view, or should it be regarded as a distinctively phenomenological take on the measurement problem? Is phenomenology a serious contender in continuing discussions of foundational questions of quantum mechanics? Can other interpretational frameworks such as quantum Bayesianism benefit from implementing phenomenological notions such as constitution or horizonal intentionality?