The Description of Nature: Niels Bohr and the Philosophy of Quantum Physics

Hardcover | September 1, 1980

byJohn Honner

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Niels Bohr, the founding father of modern atomic physics and quantum theory, was as original a philosopher as he was a physicist. This study explores several dimensions of Bohr's vision: the formulation of quantum theory and the problems associated with its interpretation, the notions ofcomplementarity and correspondence, the debates with Einstein about objectivity and realism, and his sense of the infinite harmony of nature. The author's chief attention is given to Bohr's epistemological lesson, the conviction that all our description of nature is dependent on the words we use andthe ways we can unambiguously use them. Against those who would view Bohr as a vague positivist, the author argues here that Bohr is best understood as using transcendental arguments and shaping a kind of descriptive metaphysics in his defence of our abilities to offer a description of the world welive in.

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Niels Bohr, the founding father of modern atomic physics and quantum theory, was as original a philosopher as he was a physicist. This study explores several dimensions of Bohr's vision: the formulation of quantum theory and the problems associated with its interpretation, the notions ofcomplementarity and correspondence, the debates w...

John Honner is a Dean at Jesuit Theological College, Parkville, Victoria.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:244 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.75 inPublished:September 1, 1980Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198249764

ISBN - 13:9780198249764

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'Honner's sophisticated analysis is enormously helpful ... it is compulsory reading for physicists and philosophers alike'The Scientific and Medical Network