the physicist and the philosopher

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The Physicist And The Philosopher

Author : Jimena Canales
ISBN : 9781400865772
Genre : Science
File Size : 37. 10 MB
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On April 6, 1922, in Paris, Albert Einstein and Henri Bergson publicly debated the nature of time. Einstein considered Bergson's theory of time to be a soft, psychological notion, irreconcilable with the quantitative realities of physics. Bergson, who gained fame as a philosopher by arguing that time should not be understood exclusively through the lens of science, criticized Einstein's theory of time for being a metaphysics grafted on to science, one that ignored the intuitive aspects of time. The Physicist and the Philosopher tells the remarkable story of how this explosive debate transformed our understanding of time and drove a rift between science and the humanities that persists today. Jimena Canales introduces readers to the revolutionary ideas of Einstein and Bergson, describes how they dramatically collided in Paris, and traces how this clash of worldviews reverberated across the twentieth century. She shows how it provoked responses from figures such as Bertrand Russell and Martin Heidegger, and carried repercussions for American pragmatism, logical positivism, phenomenology, and quantum mechanics. Canales explains how the new technologies of the period—such as wristwatches, radio, and film—helped to shape people’s conceptions of time and further polarized the public debate. She also discusses how Bergson and Einstein, toward the end of their lives, each reflected on his rival’s legacy—Bergson during the Nazi occupation of Paris and Einstein in the context of the first hydrogen bomb explosion. The Physicist and the Philosopher is a magisterial and revealing account that shows how scientific truth was placed on trial in a divided century marked by a new sense of time.

The Physicist And The Philosopher

Author : Jimena Canales
ISBN : 0691173176
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 59. 57 MB
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On April 6, 1922, in Paris, Albert Einstein and Henri Bergson publicly debated the nature of time. Einstein considered Bergson's theory of time to be a soft, psychological notion, irreconcilable with the quantitative realities of physics. Bergson, who gained fame as a philosopher by arguing that time should not be understood exclusively through the lens of science, criticized Einstein's theory of time for being a metaphysics grafted on to science, one that ignored the intuitive aspects of time. "The Physicist and the Philosopher" tells the remarkable story of how this explosive debate transformed our understanding of time and drove a rift between science and the humanities that persists today. Jimena Canales introduces readers to the revolutionary ideas of Einstein and Bergson, describes how they dramatically collided in Paris, and traces how this clash of worldviews reverberated across the twentieth century. She shows how it provoked responses from figures such as Bertrand Russell and Martin Heidegger, and carried repercussions for American pragmatism, logical positivism, phenomenology, and quantum mechanics. Canales explains how the new technologies of the period--such as wristwatches, radio, and film--helped to shape people's conceptions of time and further polarized the public debate. She also discusses how Bergson and Einstein, toward the end of their lives, each reflected on his rival's legacy--Bergson during the Nazi occupation of Paris and Einstein in the context of the first hydrogen bomb explosion. "The Physicist and the Philosopher" is a magisterial and revealing account that shows how scientific truth was placed on trial in a divided century marked by a new sense of time.

The Physicist And The Philosopher

Author : Jimena Canales
ISBN : 0691165343
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 42. 49 MB
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""The Physicist and the Philosopher" explores the nature of time, the meaning of relativity, and the place of philosophical thought in a scientific age. Canales aims to reposition Einstein's work in a field of disputation and give Bergson back the significance he had in his contemporaries' minds."--Cathryn Carson, University of California, Berkeley "Like a stone cast on still waters, the Einstein-Bergson debate on the nature of time set off ever-widening ripples in physics and philosophy, but also in art, politics, and religion. In this fascinating book, Canales has written a kind of alternative intellectual history of the interwar decades of the twentieth century, one full of color and improbable conjunctions of people and ideas."--Lorraine Daston, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin "Is time too important to be left to the physicists and their measuring devices? That was the issue at stake in a 1922 debate between Albert Einstein and philosopher Henri Bergson, celebrated at the time and wonderfully recovered in Jimena Canales s new book. A fascinating look at a pivotal moment in how we think about one of the most fundamental features of the universe."--Sean Carroll, author of "From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time" "Sometimes past battles have repercussions that resonate long after memories have faded. In dramatic fashion, Jimena Canales demonstrates how a seemingly forgotten debate between Einstein and Bergson about the enigma of time changed the course of intellectual history."--Palle Yourgrau, Brandeis University "Whether readers side with Einstein s physics or Bergson s philosophy isn t the most important thing: this book opens up new ways of thinking about the relationship between science and the humanities that unsettle both."--Gerald Holton, Harvard University "This exciting, hugely interesting book opens out from a short but critical encounter between the philosopher Henri Bergson and the physicist Albert Einstein to consider their philosophies and the effects of their argument on the modern idea of time. Canales turns what is at first sight a limited debate into a major transatlantic encounter of profound implications. Well-researched, well-argued, and elegant, "The Physicist and the Philosopher" is a first-rate work of scholarship."--Stefanos Geroulanos, New York University ""The Physicist and the Philosopher" is a lively and engaging account of the meaning of time in the twentieth century. Canales uses the 1922 debate between Albert Einstein and Henri Bergson as a starting point from which to discuss an astonishing array of thinkers, technologies, and cultural developments. The book is an innovative, rich, and almost encyclopedic exploration of a crucially important question."--Edward Baring, author of "The Young Derrida and French Philosophy, 1945 1968""

Physics And Philosophy

Author : Werner Heisenberg
ISBN : 0141182156
Genre : Physics
File Size : 39. 14 MB
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Nobel Prize winner Werner Heisenberg's classic account explains the central ideas of the quantum revolution, and his celebrated Uncertainty Principle. The theme of Heisenberg's exposition is that words and concepts familiar in daily life can lose their meaning in the world of relativity and quantum physics. This in turn has profound philosophical implications for the nature of reality and for our total world view. 'It carries the reader, with remarkable clarity, from the esoteric world of atomic physics to the world of people, language and the conception of our shared reality' Paul Davies.

Heisenberg And The Interpretation Of Quantum Mechanics

Author : Kristian Camilleri
ISBN : 9780521884846
Genre : Science
File Size : 20. 9 MB
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New perspective on Heisenberg's interpretation of quantum mechanics for researchers and graduate students in the history and philosophy of physics.

After Physics

Author : David Z. Albert
ISBN : 9780674731264
Genre : Science
File Size : 26. 69 MB
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Here the philosopher and physicist David Z Albert argues, among other things, that the difference between past and future can be understood as a mechanical phenomenon of nature and that quantum mechanics makes it impossible to present the entirety of what can be said about the world as a narrative of “befores” and “afters.”

Niels Bohr S Times

Author : Abraham Pais
ISBN : 9780192522306
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 60. 40 MB
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The life of Niels Bohr spanned times of revolutionary change in science itself as well as its impact on society. Along with Albert Einstein, Bohr can be considered to be this century's major driving force behind the new philosophical and mathematical descriptions of the structure of the atom and the nucleus. Abraham Pais, the acclaimed biogrpaher of Albert Einstein, here traces Bohr's progress from his well-to-do origins in late nineteenth-century Denmark to his position at centre stage in the world political scene, particularly during the Second World War and the development of atomic weapons. Pais' description moves through the science as it was before Bohr, as it became because of Bohr, and thence to Bohr's scientific and philosophical legacy. That legacy is contained both in theory as it is now universally enshrined, as well as in its practice in such great Danish institutions as Riso. But more than that, Pais captures the essence of Bohr, the intensely private family figure who, despite appalling personal tragedy, became one of the most loved cultural figures of recent times.

Everywhere And Everywhen

Author : Nick Huggett
ISBN : 9780195379518
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 87. 46 MB
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This book, written for the general reader, explores the fundamental issues concerning the nature of time and space, and quantum mechanics. It shows how physics and philosophy work together to answer some of the deepest questions ever asked about the world.

Time S Arrow And Archimedes Point

Author : Huw Price
ISBN : 0199839328
Genre : Science
File Size : 36. 69 MB
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Why is the future so different from the past? Why does the past affect the future and not the other way around? What does quantum mechanics really tell us about the world? In this important and accessible book, Huw Price throws fascinating new light on some of the great mysteries of modern physics, and connects them in a wholly original way. Price begins with the mystery of the arrow of time. Why, for example, does disorder always increase, as required by the second law of thermodynamics? Price shows that, for over a century, most physicists have thought about these problems the wrong way. Misled by the human perspective from within time, which distorts and exaggerates the differences between past and future, they have fallen victim to what Price calls the "double standard fallacy": proposed explanations of the difference between the past and the future turn out to rely on a difference which has been slipped in at the beginning, when the physicists themselves treat the past and future in different ways. To avoid this fallacy, Price argues, we need to overcome our natural tendency to think about the past and the future differently. We need to imagine a point outside time -- an Archimedean "view from nowhen" -- from which to observe time in an unbiased way. Offering a lively criticism of many major modern physicists, including Richard Feynman and Stephen Hawking, Price shows that this fallacy remains common in physics today -- for example, when contemporary cosmologists theorize about the eventual fate of the universe. The "big bang" theory normally assumes that the beginning and end of the universe will be very different. But if we are to avoid the double standard fallacy, we need to consider time symmetrically, and take seriously the possibility that the arrow of time may reverse when the universe recollapses into a "big crunch." Price then turns to the greatest mystery of modern physics, the meaning of quantum theory. He argues that in missing the Archimedean viewpoint, modern physics has missed a radical and attractive solution to many of the apparent paradoxes of quantum physics. Many consequences of quantum theory appear counterintuitive, such as Schrodinger's Cat, whose condition seems undetermined until observed, and Bell's Theorem, which suggests a spooky "nonlocality," where events happening simultaneously in different places seem to affect each other directly. Price shows that these paradoxes can be avoided by allowing that at the quantum level the future does, indeed, affect the past. This demystifies nonlocality, and supports Einstein's unpopular intuition that quantum theory describes an objective world, existing independently of human observers: the Cat is alive or dead, even when nobody looks. So interpreted, Price argues, quantum mechanics is simply the kind of theory we ought to have expected in microphysics -- from the symmetric standpoint. Time's Arrow and Archimedes' Point presents an innovative and controversial view of time and contemporary physics. In this exciting book, Price urges physicists, philosophers, and anyone who has ever pondered the mysteries of time to look at the world from the fresh perspective of Archimedes' Point and gain a deeper understanding of ourselves, the universe around us, and our own place in time.

Niels Bohr And The Philosophy Of Physics

Author : Jan Faye
ISBN : 9781350035133
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 73. 4 MB
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Niels Bohr and Philosophy of Physics: Twenty-First Century Perspectives examines the philosophical views, influences and legacy of the Nobel Prize physicist and philosophical spokesman of the quantum revolution, Niels Bohr. The sixteen contributions in this collection by some of the best contemporary philosophers and physicists writing on Bohr's philosophy today all carefully distinguish his subtle and unique interpretation of quantum mechanics from views often imputed to him under the banner of the "Copenhagen Interpretation.” With respect to philosophical influences on Bohr's outlook, the contributors analyse prominent similarities between his viewpoint and Kantian ways of thinking, the views of the Danish philosopher Harald Høffding, and themes characteristic of American pragmatism. In recognizing the importance of Bohr's epistemological naturalism they examine his defence of the indispensability of classical concepts from a variety of different perspectives. This collection shows us that Bohr's interpretation of quantum mechanics, now nearly a century old, still has the power to shed light on a variety of issues that have arisen only since his lifetime, as well as decoherence theory and other non-collapse interpretations. Balancing historical themes with contemporary discussions, Niels Bohr and the Philosophy of Physics establishes Bohr's on-going contribution to the philosophy of physics and examines his place in the history of philosophy.

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