<!DOCTYPE html><HTML lang="en"> <head><meta charset="utf-8"> <title>Omnes (Roland) - Quantum Philosophy - Understanding and Interpreting Contemporary Science (Theo Todman's Book Collection - Paper Abstracts) </title> <link href="../../TheosStyle.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css"><link rel="shortcut icon" href="../../TT_ICO.png" /></head> <BODY> <CENTER> <div id="header"><HR><h1>Theo Todman's Web Page - Paper Abstracts</h1><HR></div><A name="Top"></A> <TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950> <tr><th><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_11/PaperSummary_11086.htm">Quantum Philosophy - Understanding and Interpreting Contemporary Science</A></th></tr> <tr><th><A HREF = "../../Authors/O/Author_Omnes (Roland).htm">Omnes (Roland)</a></th></tr> <tr><th>Source: Omnes - Quantum Philosophy - Understanding and Interpreting Contemporary Science</th></tr> <tr><th>Paper - Abstract</th></tr> </TABLE> </CENTER> <P><CENTER><TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=400><tr><td><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_11/PaperSummary_11086.htm">Paper Summary</A></td><td><A HREF="#ColourConventions">Text Colour-Conventions</a></td></tr></TABLE></CENTER></P> <hr><P><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><U>Preface</U><FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1"><li>This essay has a leading thread, whose origins may be retraced to Francis Bacon's <I>The Great Instauration</I>: one day, the principles of science will be so close to the heart and the essence of things that philosophy will be able to find in them its own foundations. Let us temper that wish and speak only of philosophy of knowledge; let us, on the contrary, bolster it and say that such a day has arrived, and there you have the summary of this book.</li><li>The time has come to force our way out of a current crisis in epistemology. There is indeed a crisis, for unlike the flourishing situation in the history of knowledge, the philosophical reflection about science has lost its way  or stagnates. The fashionable authors see only uncertainties, paradigms without enduring principles, an absence of method, and a presence of erratic revolutions, precisely when we should be trumpeting the success of a science whose extent and consistency are unprecedented. To counter this deficiency we can turn only to ancient thinkers, no doubt wiser, but also unable to provide the required antidote, for their science is no longer ours; it has progressed too much.</li><li>Beyond the shadow of a doubt, the origin of this crisis is to be found in an event that no one has fully recognized in all its significance: the irresistible irruption of the formal approach in some fundamental sciences such as logic, mathematics, and physics. As a consequence, these disciplines have become practically impenetrable, which explains the capitulation or the adventurousness of so many commentators, not to mention the disarray of the honest man or woman who wonders what those who should understand these subjects are talking about.</li><li>A good part of this book retraces this rise toward formalism and shows its necessity, not only in mathematics, but also in the foundations of relativity and quantum physics, and in the theories dealing with all that makes up the universe, space, and particles. As a counterbalance, another part of the book shows how to loosen that formalism and overcome it. The path was shown by certain advances in the interpretation of quantum mechanics, thanks to which it was possible to resolve a good number of difficulties that were hard to accept even in this domain where, more than in any other, the principles of philosophy clash with those of nature. The key to the problem appeared only gradually, through efforts in specialized fields and technical results. But in the end, everything turned out to be quite simple: the principles that science has already mastered are sufficient to recover common sense, to demonstrate its necessity in a certain sense, and at the same time to establish its limits and those of certain philosophical "principles" derived from it. Thus, despite its formal aspects, science brings with it a theory of knowledge, once again transparent, that can explain how we humans understand the world.</li><li>Could all that ever lead to a philosophy of knowledge reaching into the very nature of reality? We do not know, even if we can see it taking form already, while we are still busy only dreaming of it.</li></ol></FONT><U>Contents</U><FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1">Preface  xi<BR>Acknowledgments  xiii<BR>Prelude  xv<BR><B>PART ONE: THE LEGACY</B>  1<li>Classical Logic  6<ul type="disc"><li>Pythagoras and the Pariah  7</li><li>Plato and the Logos  10</li><li>The Logic of Aristotle and of Chrysippus  12</li><li>The Paradoxes  16</li><li>Two Useful Notions  19</li><li>The <a name="1"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1008.htm">Universals</A><SUP>1</SUP>  20</li></ul></li><li>Classical Physics  23<ul type="disc"><li>Astronomy, from Hipparchus to Kepler  23</li><li>The Dawn of Mechanics  28</li><li>Newton's Dynamics  31</li><li>Waves in the Ether  36</li><li>The Beginning of Electromagnetism  39</li><li>A Turning Point: Maxwell's Equations  41</li></ul></li><li>Classical Mathematics  47<ul type="disc"><li>Classical Mathematics  47</li><li>Rigor and Profusion in the Nineteenth Century  53</li><li>Mathematics and Infinity  58</li></ul></li><li>Classical Philosophy of Knowledge  62<ul type="disc"><li>Francis Bacon and Experience  62</li><li>Descartes and Reason  64</li><li>Locke and Empiricism  66</li><li>Digression: Cognition Sciences </li><li>Hume's Pragmatism</li><li>Kant</li></ul><B>PART TWO: THE FRACTURE</B></li><li>Formal Mathematics<ul type="disc"><li>The Age of Formalism</li><li>Formal Logic</li><li>Symbols and Sets</li><li>Propositions</li><li>Some Remarks Regarding Truth</li><li>Taming Infinity</li><li>Today's Mathematics</li><li>The Crisis in the Foundations of Set Theory </li><li>Godel's Incompleteness Theorem</li><li>A Tentative Conclusion</li></ul></li><li>The Philosophy of Mathematics<ul type="disc"><li>What Is Mathematics? </li><li>Mathematical Realism </li><li>Nominalism</li><li>Mathematical Sociologism </li><li>Mathematics and Physical Reality</li></ul></li><li>Formal Physics<ul type="disc"><li>The Century of Formal Physics</li><li>Relativity</li><li>The Relativistic Theory of Gravitation </li><li>The Prehistory of the Atom</li><li>Classical Physics in a Straitjacket</li><li>The Assassination of Classical Physics </li><li>The Harvest of Results</li></ul></li><li>The Epistemology of Physics<ul type="disc"><li>Why Do We Need Interpretation?</li><li>Uncertainties  150</li><li>The Principle of Complementarity  152</li><li>The Reduction of the Wave Function  155</li></ul><B>PART THREE: FROM FORMAL BACK TO VISUAL: THE QUANTUM CASE</B>  159</li><li>Between Logic and Physics  163<ul type="disc"><li>The Outline of a Program  163</li><li>The Logic of Common Sense  165</li><li>Classical Dynamics and Determinism  168</li><li>With the Help of an Angel  170</li><li>Observables  173</li><li>Rudiments of a Quantum Dialect  174</li><li>Histories  177</li><li>The Role of Probabilities  178</li><li>The Logic of the Quantum World  180</li><li>Complementarity  181</li><li>A Logical Law of Physics  182</li></ul></li><li>Rediscovering Common Sense  184<ul type="disc"><li>The World on a Large Scale  184</li><li>The Logic of Common Sense  186</li><li>Determinism  190</li><li>A First Philosophical Survey  193</li></ul></li><li>From the Measurable to the Unmeasurable  196<ul type="disc"><li>The Poignant Problem of Interferences  196</li><li>The Decoherence Effect  199</li><li>The Wonders of Decoherence: Physical  202</li><li>The Wonders of Decoherence: Logical  204</li><li>Last Wonders: The Direction of Time  207</li><li>Measurement  Theory 208</li><li>Wave Function Reduction Revisited  209</li><li>The Chasm  211</li><li>Addendum  215</li></ul></li><li>On Realism  216<ul type="disc"><li>A Brief History of Realism  216</li><li>Quantum Physics and Realism  221</li><li>Ordinary Reality  223</li><li>Rationality versus Realism  224</li><li>The "EPR" Experiment  225</li><li>Bell and Aspect  227</li><li>Controversies about Histories  230</li><li>Toward a Wider Realism  233</li></ul><B>PART FOUR: STATE OF THE QUESTION AND PERSPECTIVES</B>  235</li><li>A New Beginning  237<ul type="disc"><li>A Preliminary Report  237</li><li>The Beginnings of a Philosophy  239</li><li>The Religious Temptation and the Sacred  241</li></ul></li><li>What Is Science?  246<ul type="disc"><li>Science as Representation  246</li><li>On Certain Types of Laws  248</li><li>The Transformations of Science  250</li><li>Thomas Kuhn  252</li></ul></li><li>Method  255<ul type="disc"><li>A Method for Judging, Not for Building  255</li><li>Which Method?  256</li><li>A Four-Stage Method  257</li><li>The Nature of the Four Stages  260</li><li>The Lesson of the Failed Attempts  261</li><li>Method and the Social Sciences  262</li><li>Consistency and Beauty  264</li><li>The Flexibility of Principles  266</li><li>The Thing in the World Most Evenly Distributed  267</li></ul></li><li>Vanishing Perspectives  269<ul type="disc"><li>The Theory of Knowledge  269</li><li>Logos  271</li><li>The Instauration  273</li><li>Founding Science  278</li></ul>Glossary  283<BR>Name Index  291<BR>Subject Index  295</li></ol></FONT><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR></P><a name="ColourConventions"></a><p><b>Text Colour Conventions (see <A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1025.htm">disclaimer</a>)</b></p><OL TYPE="1"><LI><FONT COLOR = "0000FF">Blue</FONT>: Text by me; &copy; Theo Todman, 2018</li><LI><FONT COLOR = "800080">Mauve</FONT>: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); &copy; the author(s)</li></OL> <BR><HR><BR><CENTER> <TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950> <TR><TD WIDTH="30%">&copy; Theo Todman, June 2007 - August 2018.</TD> <TD WIDTH="40%">Please address any comments on this page to <A HREF="mailto:theo@theotodman.com">theo@theotodman.com</A>.</TD> <TD WIDTH="30%">File output: <time datetime="2018-08-02T07:30" pubdate>02/08/2018 07:30:45</time> <br><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1010.htm">Website Maintenance Dashboard</A></TD></TR> <TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="#Top">Return to Top of this Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="40%"><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1140.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Philosophy Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="../../index.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Home Page</A></TD> </TR></TABLE></CENTER><HR> </BODY> </HTML>