Quantum Theory and the Flight from Realism: Philosophical Responses to Quantum Mechanics / Edition 1

Quantum Theory and the Flight from Realism: Philosophical Responses to Quantum Mechanics / Edition 1

by Christopher Norris, Norris Christop
     
 

ISBN-10: 0415223229

ISBN-13: 9780415223225

Pub. Date: 04/28/2000

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

This book is a critical introduction to the long-standing debate concerning the conceptual foundations of quantum mechanics and the problems it has posed for physicists and philosophers from Einstein to the present. Quantum theory has been a major infulence on postmodernism, and presents significant problems for realists. Keeping his own realist position in check,

Overview

This book is a critical introduction to the long-standing debate concerning the conceptual foundations of quantum mechanics and the problems it has posed for physicists and philosophers from Einstein to the present. Quantum theory has been a major infulence on postmodernism, and presents significant problems for realists. Keeping his own realist position in check, Christopher Norris subjects a wide range of key opponents and supporters of realism to a high and equal level of scrutiny. With a characteristic combination of rigour and intellectual generosity, he draws out the merits and weaknesses from opposing arguments. In a sequence of closely argued chapters, Norris examines the premises of orthodox quantum theory, as developed most influentially by Bohr and Heisenberg, and its impact on varous philosophical developments. These include the ideas developed by W.V Quine, Thomas Kuhn, Michael Dummett, Bas van Fraassen, and Hilary Puttnam. In each case, Norris argues, these thinkers have been influenced by the orthodox construal of quantum mechanics as requiring drastic revision of principles which had hitherto defined the very nature of scientific method, causal explanati and rational enquiry. Putting the case for a realist approach which adheres to well-tried scientific principles of causal reasoning and inference to the best explanation, Christopher Norris clarifies these debates to a non-specialist readership and scholars of philosophy, science studies and the philosophy of science alike. Quantum Theory and the Flight From Realism suggests that philosophical reflection can contribute to a better understanding of these crucial, current issues.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780415223225
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
04/28/2000
Series:
Critical Realism Series
Pages:
276
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgementsviii
Introduction1
1Is it possible to be a realist about quantum mechanics?6
2Quantum theory and the logic of anti-realism40
3Bell, Bohm and the EPR debate: a case for nonlocal realism72
4Quantum worlds without end: the multiverse according to Deutsch106
5Should philosophers take lessons from quantum theory?134
6Putnam's progress: quantum theory and the flight from realism165
7Can logic be quantum-relativized? Putnam, Dummett and the 'great quantum muddle'194
8From Copenhagen to the stars: some ways of quantum worldmaking231
Index of names263

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