The Quest for Reality: Bohr and Wittgenstein - two complementary views

Paperback | March 18, 2015

byStig Stenholm

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In both science and philosophy, the twentieth century saw a radical breakdown of certainty in the human worldview, as quantum uncertainty and linguistic ambiguity destroyed the comfortable certitudes of the past. As these disciplines form the foundation for a human position in the world, amajor epistemological reorganization had to take place. In this book, quantum theorist Stig Stenholm presents Bohr and Wittgenstein, in physics and in philosophy, as central figures representing this revision. Each of them took up the challenge of replacing apparent order and certainty with aprovisional understanding based on limited concepts in constant flux. Stenholm concludes that the modern synthesis created by their heirs is far from satisfactory, and the story is so far an unfinished one. The book will appeal to any researcher in either discipline curious about the foundation of modern science, and works to provoke a renewal of discussion and the eventual emergence of a reformed clarity and understanding.

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In both science and philosophy, the twentieth century saw a radical breakdown of certainty in the human worldview, as quantum uncertainty and linguistic ambiguity destroyed the comfortable certitudes of the past. As these disciplines form the foundation for a human position in the world, amajor epistemological reorganization had to tak...

Stig Stenholm has carried out distinguished work in quantum optics for 40 years, holding professorships and research positions at the universities of Stuttgart and Helsinki, at IBM Research Laboratory, San Jose, California, and at the Optical Sciences Center, Tucson, Arizona, before his retirement from KTH Stockholm in 2004. He has re...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:230 pagesPublished:March 18, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198729103

ISBN - 13:9780198729105

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Table of Contents

1. Prelude: The modern stance2. Twilight of the gods3. The view from Copenhagen4. Epistemological interlude5. Wittgenstein enters the scene6. Shaky foundations7. Physics interface8. Philosophical consequences9. Metaphysics and reality10. Concluding epilogue

Editorial Reviews

"Stenholm, a theoretical physicist specialising in quantum optics, has a wide understanding of many of the philosophical issues that lie at the heart of the debate that surrounds the foundations of quantum theory." --Basil Hiley, Birkbeck College, University of London