Philosophical Concepts in Physics

Author: James T. Cushing
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 052157823X
Release Date: 1998-01-29
Genre: Science

This book examines a selection of philosophical issues in the context of specific episodes in the development of physical theories and presents scientific advances within their historical and philosophical contexts. Philosophical considerations have played an essential and ineliminable role in the actual practice of science. The book begins with some necessary introduction to the history of ancient and early modern science, but emphasizes the two great watersheds of twentieth-century physics: relativity and quantum mechanics. At times the term "construction" may seem more appropriate than "discovery" for the way theories have developed and, especially in later chapters, the discussion focuses on the influence of historical, philosophical and even social factors on the form and content of scientific theories.

Philosophical Concepts in Physics

Author: James T. Cushing
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521570719
Release Date: 1998-01-29
Genre: Science

This book examines a selection of philosophical issues in the context of specific episodes in the development of physical theories and presents scientific advances within their historical and philosophical contexts. Philosophical considerations have played an essential and ineliminable role in the actual practice of science. The book begins with some necessary introduction to the history of ancient and early modern science, but emphasizes the two great watersheds of twentieth-century physics: relativity and quantum mechanics. At times the term "construction" may seem more appropriate than "discovery" for the way theories have developed and, especially in later chapters, the discussion focuses on the influence of historical, philosophical and even social factors on the form and content of scientific theories.

Quantum Non Locality and Relativity

Author: Tim Maudlin
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 9781444331264
Release Date: 2011-05-06
Genre: Philosophy

"Quantum Non-Locality and Relativity is recognized as the premier philosophical study of Bell's Theorem and its implication for the relativistic account of space and time. Previous editions have been praised for the remarkable clarity of Maudlin's descriptions of both Bell's theorem and his examination of the potential conflict between the theorem and relativity. The third edition of this text has been carefully updated to reflect significant developments, including a new chapter covering important recent work in the foundations of physics. Foremost among these is Roderich Tumiulka's explicit, relativistic theory that can reproduce the quantum mechanical violation of Bell's inequality. The "Free Will Theorem" of John Conway and Simon Kochen is also discussed, as is the status of locality in the Many Worlds interpretation of quantum theory. The book has also been updated to reflect recent results in information theory. The book introduces philosophers to the relevant physics and demonstrates how philosophical analysis can help to resolve some of the problems, and requires no technical background in Physics. All of the physics is presented from first principles, and as much as possible is presented pictorially"--Provided by publisher.

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

Author: Thomas S. Kuhn
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226458144
Release Date: 2012-04-18
Genre: Science

A good book may have the power to change the way we see the world, but a great book actually becomes part of our daily consciousness, pervading our thinking to the point that we take it for granted, and we forget how provocative and challenging its ideas once were—and still are. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is that kind of book. When it was first published in 1962, it was a landmark event in the history and philosophy of science. Fifty years later, it still has many lessons to teach. With The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Kuhn challenged long-standing linear notions of scientific progress, arguing that transformative ideas don’t arise from the day-to-day, gradual process of experimentation and data accumulation but that the revolutions in science, those breakthrough moments that disrupt accepted thinking and offer unanticipated ideas, occur outside of “normal science,” as he called it. Though Kuhn was writing when physics ruled the sciences, his ideas on how scientific revolutions bring order to the anomalies that amass over time in research experiments are still instructive in our biotech age. This new edition of Kuhn’s essential work in the history of science includes an insightful introduction by Ian Hacking, which clarifies terms popularized by Kuhn, including paradigm and incommensurability, and applies Kuhn’s ideas to the science of today. Usefully keyed to the separate sections of the book, Hacking’s introduction provides important background information as well as a contemporary context. Newly designed, with an expanded index, this edition will be eagerly welcomed by the next generation of readers seeking to understand the history of our perspectives on science.

Conjectures and Refutations

Author: Karl Popper
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781135971373
Release Date: 2014-05-01
Genre: Philosophy

Conjectures and Refutations is one of Karl Popper's most wide-ranging and popular works, notable not only for its acute insight into the way scientific knowledge grows, but also for applying those insights to politics and to history. It provides one of the clearest and most accessible statements of the fundamental idea that guided his work: not only our knowledge, but our aims and our standards, grow through an unending process of trial and error.

String Theory and the Scientific Method

Author: Richard Dawid
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781107067585
Release Date: 2013-05-02
Genre: Science

String theory has played a highly influential role in theoretical physics for nearly three decades and has substantially altered our view of the elementary building principles of the Universe. However, the theory remains empirically unconfirmed, and is expected to remain so for the foreseeable future. So why do string theorists have such a strong belief in their theory? This book explores this question, offering a novel insight into the nature of theory assessment itself. Dawid approaches the topic from a unique position, having extensive experience in both philosophy and high-energy physics. He argues that string theory is just the most conspicuous example of a number of theories in high-energy physics where non-empirical theory assessment has an important part to play. Aimed at physicists and philosophers of science, the book does not use mathematical formalism and explains most technical terms.

The Quantum Vacuum

Author: Luciano Boi
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 9781421402475
Release Date: 2011-10-28
Genre: Science

A vacuum, classically understood, contains nothing. The quantum vacuum, on the other hand, is a seething cauldron of nothingness: particle pairs going in and out of existence continuously and rapidly while exerting influence over an enormous range of scales. Acclaimed mathematical physicist and natural philosopher Luciano Boi expounds the quantum vacuum, exploring the meaning of nothingness and its relationship with physical reality. Boi first provides a deep analysis of the interaction between geometry and physics at the quantum level. He next describes the relationship between the microscopic and macroscopic structures of the world. In so doing, Boi sheds light on the very nature of the universe, stressing in an original and profound way the relationship between quantum geometry and the internal symmetries underlying the behavior of matter and the interactions of forces. Beyond the physics and mathematics of the quantum vacuum, Boi offers a profoundly philosophical interpretation of the concept. Plato and Aristotle did not believe a vacuum was possible. How could nothing be something, they asked? Boi traces the evolution of the quantum vacuum from an abstract concept in ancient Greece to its fundamental role in quantum field theory and string theory in modern times. The quantum vacuum is a complex entity, one essential to understanding some of the most intriguing issues in twentieth-century physics, including cosmic singularity, dark matter and energy, and the existence of the Higgs boson particle. Boi explains with simple clarity the relevant theories and fundamental concepts of the quantum vacuum. Theoretical, mathematical, and particle physicists, as well as researchers and students of the history and philosophy of physics, will find The Quantum Vacuum to be a stimulating and engaging primer on the topic.

Philosophy of Technology and Engineering Sciences

Author:
Publisher: Elsevier
ISBN: 0080930743
Release Date: 2009-11-27
Genre: Philosophy

The Handbook Philosophy of Technology and Engineering Sciences addresses numerous issues in the emerging field of the philosophy of those sciences that are involved in the technological process of designing, developing and making of new technical artifacts and systems. These issues include the nature of design, of technological knowledge, and of technical artifacts, as well as the toolbox of engineers. Most of these have thus far not been analyzed in general philosophy of science, which has traditionally but inadequately regarded technology as mere applied science and focused on physics, biology, mathematics and the social sciences. • First comprehensive philosophical handbook on technology and the engineering sciences • Unparalleled in scope including explorative articles • In depth discussion of technical artifacts and their ontology • Provides extensive analysis of the nature of engineering design • Focuses in detail on the role of models in technology

Scientific Controversies

Author: Peter K. Machamer
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 9780195119879
Release Date: 2000
Genre: Science

Social constructionists claim that scientific debates are influenced by non-evidential factors such as the rhetoric and professional clout of the participants. These essays undermine an extreme social constructionist perspective and indicate the need for a more realistic scientific rationality.

Chemistry Education and Contributions from History and Philosophy of Science

Author: Mansoor Niaz
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 9783319262482
Release Date: 2015-12-23
Genre: Science

This book explores the relationship between the content of chemistry education and the history and philosophy of science (HPS) framework that underlies such education. It discusses the need to present an image that reflects how chemistry developed and progresses. It proposes that chemistry should be taught the way it is practiced by chemists: as a human enterprise, at the interface of scientific practice and HPS. Finally, it sets out to convince teachers to go beyond the traditional classroom practice and explore new teaching strategies. The importance of HPS has been recognized for the science curriculum since the middle of the 20th century. The need for teaching chemistry within a historical context is not difficult to understand as HPS is not far below the surface in any science classroom. A review of the literature shows that the traditional chemistry classroom, curricula, and textbooks while dealing with concepts such as law, theory, model, explanation, hypothesis, observation, evidence and idealization, generally ignore elements of the history and philosophy of science. This book proposes that the conceptual understanding of chemistry requires knowledge and understanding of the history and philosophy of science. “Professor Niaz’s book is most welcome, coming at a time when there is an urgently felt need to upgrade the teaching of science. The book is a huge aid for adding to the usual way - presenting science as a series of mere facts - also the necessary mandate: to show how science is done, and how science, through its history and philosophy, is part of the cultural development of humanity.” Gerald Holton, Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics & Professor of History of Science, Harvard University “In this stimulating and sophisticated blend of history of chemistry, philosophy of science, and science pedagogy, Professor Mansoor Niaz has succeeded in offering a promising new approach to the teaching of fundamental ideas in chemistry. Historians and philosophers of chemistry --- and above all, chemistry teachers --- will find this book full of valuable and highly usable new ideas” Alan Rocke, Case Western Reserve University “This book artfully connects chemistry and chemistry education to the human context in which chemical science is practiced and the historical and philosophical background that illuminates that practice. Mansoor Niaz deftly weaves together historical episodes in the quest for scientific knowledge with the psychology of learning and philosophical reflections on the nature of scientific knowledge and method. The result is a compelling case for historically and philosophically informed science education. Highly recommended!” Harvey Siegel, University of Miami “Books that analyze the philosophy and history of science in Chemistry are quite rare. ‘Chemistry Education and Contributions from History and Philosophy of Science’ by Mansoor Niaz is one of the rare books on the history and philosophy of chemistry and their importance in teaching this science. The book goes through all the main concepts of chemistry, and analyzes the historical and philosophical developments as well as their reflections in textbooks. Closest to my heart is Chapter 6, which is devoted to the chemical bond, the glue that holds together all matter in our earth. The chapter emphasizes the revolutionary impact of the concept of the ‘covalent bond’ on the chemical community and the great novelty of the idea that was conceived 11 years before quantum mechanics was able to offer the mechanism of electron pairing and covalent bonding. The author goes then to describe the emergence of two rival theories that explained the nature of the chemical bond in terms of quantum mechanics; these are valence bond (VB) and molecular orbital (MO) theories. He emphasizes the importance of having rival theories and interpretations in science and its advancement. He further argues that this VB-MO rivalry is still alive and together the two conceptual frames serve as the tool kit for thinking and doing chemistry in creative manners. The author surveys chemistry textbooks in the light of the how the books preserve or not the balance between the two theories in describing various chemical phenomena. This Talmudic approach of conceptual tension is a universal characteristic of any branch of evolving wisdom. As such, Mansoor’s book would be of great utility for chemistry teachers to examine how can they become more effective teachers by recognizing the importance of conceptual tension”. Sason Shaik Saeree K. and Louis P. Fiedler Chair in Chemistry Director, The Lise Meitner-Minerva Center for Computational Quantum Chemistry, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, ISRAEL

Philosophies of the Sciences

Author: Fritz Allhoff
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 9781119144816
Release Date: 2015-12-02
Genre: Science

A collection of essays discussing a wide range of sciences and the central philosophical issues associated with them, presenting the sciences collectively to encourage a greater understanding of their associative theoretical foundations, as well as their relationships to each other. Offers a new and unique approach to studying and comparing the philosophies of a variety of scientific disciplines Explores a wide variety of individual sciences, including mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, psychology, sociology and economics The essays are written by leading scholars in a highly accessible style for the student audience Complements more traditional studies of philosophy of science

Physics and Philosophy

Author: Werner Heisenberg
Publisher: Penguin Modern Classics
ISBN: 0141182156
Release Date: 2000
Genre: Physics

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.

The Ashgate Companion to Contemporary Philosophy of Physics

Author: Dean Rickles
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
ISBN: 0754655180
Release Date: 2008
Genre: Philosophy

Introducing the reader to the very latest developments in the philosophical foundations of physics, this book covers advanced material at a level suitable for beginner and intermediate students. A detailed overview is provided of the central debates in the philosophy of quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics, quantum computation, and quantum gravity. This book enables both philosophers and physicists to engage with the most pressing problems in contemporary philosophy of physics in a fruitful way.

Adapting Historical Knowledge Production to the Classroom

Author: P.V. Kokkotas
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9789460913495
Release Date: 2011-10-18
Genre: Science

The aims of this book are: • to contribute to professional development of those directly involved in science education (science teachers, elementary and secondary science teacher advisors, researchers in science education, etc), • to contribute to the improvement of the quality of science education at all levels of education with the exploitation of elements from History of Science incorporated in science teaching –it is argued that through such approaches the students’ motivation can be raised, their romantic understanding can be developed and consequently their conceptual understanding of science concepts can be improved since these approaches make science more attractive to them– and • to contribute to the debate about science education at the international level in order to find new ways for further inquiry on the issues that the book is dealing with. The book is divided in two parts: The first expounds its philosophical and epistemological framework and the second combines theory and praxis, the theoretical insights with their practical applications.