The Philosophy Behind Physics

The Philosophy Behind Physics

Paperback(Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 1993)

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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783540579526
Publisher: Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Publication date: 08/19/1994
Edition description: Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 1993
Pages: 355
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.03(d)

Table of Contents

I. The Philosophy of Physics.- 1. The Active Epistemology.- 2. Higher-Level Epistemic Cycles.- 3. Systems and Experiments.- 4. The Structure of Theories.- 5. Induction and the Scope of Theories.- 6. The Incommensurability of Theories.- 7. A Minimal Ontology for Scientific Research.- 8. The Determinisms of Physics.- II. The Theory of Probability.- 9. The Nature of Probability.- 10. The Ensemble Interpretation of Probability.- 11. The Philosophy of Ensemble Probability.- 12. On Errors and Approximations.- III. The Philosophy of Quantum Mechanics.- 13. Problems and Promises of the Ensemble Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics.- 14. Probability and the Way Out of the Great Quantum Muddle.- 15. Are Hidden Variables Possible?.- 16. The Bell Inequality I: Joint Measurability.- 17. The Bell Inequality II: Locality.- 18. The Irrelevance of the Bell Inequality.- 19. Measurement and State Representation.- 20. On Quantum Logic.- 21. Resistance to Change in the Sciences: The Case of Quantum Mechanics.- IV. General.- 22. Epistemological Implications of Artificial Intelligence.- 23. Artificial Intelligence: Possibilities and Realities, Hopes and Dangers.- 24. Philosophy and Physicists.- 25. The Axiomatic Approach in Physics.- List of Publications of T.A. Brody.- Name Index.

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