Philosophical Concepts in Physics

The Historical Relation between Philosophy and Scientific Theories

Author: James T. Cushing

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521578233

Category: Science

Page: 448

View: 5334

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.

Platons Raumbegriff

Studien zur Metaphysik und Naturphilosophie im "Timaios"

Author: Kyung Jik Lee

Publisher: Königshausen & Neumann

ISBN: 9783826018220

Category: Cosmology

Page: 192

View: 1502

Chemistry Education and Contributions from History and Philosophy of Science

Author: Mansoor Niaz

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 3319262483

Category: Science

Page: 250

View: 7375

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

The Ashgate Companion to Contemporary Philosophy of Physics

Author: Dean Rickles

Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.

ISBN: 9780754655183

Category: Philosophy

Page: 386

View: 5040

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.

Shakespeare's Possible Worlds

Author: Simon Palfrey

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1107058279

Category: Juvenile Nonfiction

Page: 392

View: 2340

Simon Palfrey offers a new way of understanding Shakespeare's playworlds, with piercingly original readings of language, scenes, and characters.

Physics, the Human Adventure

From Copernicus to Einstein and Beyond

Author: Gerald James Holton,Stephen George Brush

Publisher: N.A


Category: Science

Page: 582

View: 3424

Physics, the Human Adventure is the third edition of the classic text Introduction to Concepts and Theories in Physical Science. Authored by Gerald Holton, the text was a landmark in science education. It was the first modern textbook in physics (or in any other science) to make full and effective use of the history and philosophy of science in presenting for both the general and the science-oriented student an account of the nature of physical science. A second edition, prepared by Stephen G. Brush, brought the book up to date by increasing the coverage of topics in modern physics and by taking account of recent scholarly research in the history of science. In the new book Physics, The Human Adventure, each of the chapters has been reworked to further clarify the physics concepts and to incorporate recent physical advances and research. The book shows the unifying power of science by bringing in connections to chemistry, astronomy, and geoscience. In short, the aid of the new edition is to teach good physics while presenting physical science as a human adventure that has become a major force in our civilization. New chapters discuss theories of the origin of the solar system and the expanding universe; fission, fusion, and the Big Bang -- Steady State Controversy; and thematic elements and styles in scientific thought.

Atom and Individual in the Age of Newton

On the Genesis of the Mechanistic World View

Author: G. Freudenthal

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9400945000

Category: Science

Page: 288

View: 6078

In this stimulating investigation, Gideon Freudenthal has linked social history with the history of science by formulating an interesting proposal: that the supposed influence of social theory may be seen as actual through its co herence with the process of formation of physical concepts. The reinterpre tation of the development of science in the seventeenth century, now widely influential, receives at Freudenthal's hand its most persuasive statement, most significantly because of his attention to the theoretical form which is charac teristic. of classical Newtonian mechanics. He pursues the sources of the parallels that may be noted between that mechanics and the dominant philosophical systems and social theories of the time; and in a fascinating development Freudenthal shows how a quite precise method - as he descriptively labels it, the 'analytic-synthetic method' - which underlay the Newtonian form of theoretical argument, was due to certain interpretive premisses concerning particle mechanics. If he is right, these depend upon a particular stage of con ceptual achievement in the theories of both society and nature; further, that the conceptual was generalized philosophically; but, strikingly, Freudenthal shows that this concept-formation itself was linked to the specific social relations of the times of Newton and Hobbes.

Quantum Mechanics

Scientific Perspectives on Divine Action

Author: Robert J. Russell

Publisher: University of Notre Dame Press

ISBN: 9780268039783

Category: Science

Page: 345

View: 9977

Quantum Mechanics, a collection of fifteen essays, explores the creative interaction among quantum physics, philosophy, and theology. This fine collection presents the results of the fifth international research conference co-sponsored by the Vatican Observatory, Rome, and the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, Berkeley. The overarching goal of these conferences is to support the engagement of constructive theology with the natural sciences and to investigate the philosophical and theological elements in ongoing theoretical research in the natural sciences. In the first section of this collection, contributors examine scientific and historical context. Section two features essays covering a wide range of philosophical interpretations of quantum mechanics. The final set of essays explores the theological implications of quantum theory. Abner Shimony, Raymond Y. Chiao, Michael Berry, Ernan McMullin, William R. Stoeger, S.J., James T. Cushing, Jeremy Butterfield, Michael Redhead, Chris Clarke, John Polkinghorne, Michael Heller, Philip Clayton, Thomas F. Tracy, George F.R. Ellis, and Robert John Russell all contributed essays to this volume.

The Quantum Vacuum

A Scientific and Philosophical Concept, from Electrodynamics to String Theory and the Geometry of the Microscopic World

Author: Luciano Boi

Publisher: JHU Press

ISBN: 1421402475

Category: Science

Page: 222

View: 2651

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.

Criticism and Defense of Rationality in Contemporary Philosophy

Author: Dane R. Gordon,Józef Niżnik

Publisher: Rodopi

ISBN: 9789042003682

Category: Philosophy

Page: 142

View: 9180

This book engages in critical discussion of the role of reason and rationality in philosophy, the human mind, ethics, science, and the social sciences. Philosophers from Poland, Germany, and the United States examine reason in the light of emotion, doubt, absolutes, implementation, and interpretation. They throw new light on old values.

Hermeneutic Philosophy of Science, Van Gogh’s Eyes, and God

Essays in Honor of Patrick A. Heelan, S.J.

Author: B.E. Babich

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9401717672

Category: Science

Page: 500

View: 1137

This richly textured book bridges analytic and hermeneutic and phenomenological philosophy of science. It features unique resources for students of the philosophy and history of quantum mechanics and the Copenhagen Interpretation, cognitive theory and the psychology of perception, the history and philosophy of art, and the pragmatic and historical relationships between religion and science.

Building Blocks of Matter

A Supplement to the Macmillan Encyclopedia of Physics

Author: John S. Rigden

Publisher: Macmillan Reference USA


Category: Science

Page: 530

View: 5579

Presents alphabetized, cross-referenced, signed articles on 153 topics and figures in the history of elementary particle physics, each including a further reading list.