Philosophical Concepts in Physics

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Januar 1998



Philosophical considerations always have played an essential role in the actual practice of science. Notre Dame's James T. Cushing 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. 133 line diagrams. 9 tables.


Preface; Part I. The Scientific Enterprise: 1. Ways of knowing; 2. Aristotle and Francis Bacon; 3. Science and metaphysics; Part II. Ancient and Modern Models of the Universe: 4. Observational astronomy and the Ptolemaic model; 5. The Copernican model and Kepler's laws; 6. Galileo on motion; Part III. The Newtonian Universe: 7. Newton's Principia; 8. Newton's law of universal gravitation; 9. Some old questions revisited; Part IV. A Perspective: 10. Galileo's Letter to the Grand Duchess; 11. An overarching Newtonian framework; 12. A view of the world based on science: determinism; Part V. Mechanical Versus Electrodynamical World Views: 13. Models of the aether; 14. Maxwell's theory; 15. The Kaufmann experiments; Part VI. The Theory of Relativity: 16. The background to and essentials of special relativity; 17. Further logical consequences of Einstein's postulates; 18. General relativity and the expanding universe; Part VII. The Quantum World and the Completeness of Quantum Mechanics: 19. The road to quantum mechanics; 20. 'Copenhage' quantum mechanics; 21. Is quantum mechanics complete?; Part VIII. Some Philosophical Lessons from Quantum Mechanics: 22. The EPR paper and Bell's theorem; 23. An alternative version of quantum mechanics; 24. An essential role for historical contingency?; Part IX. A Retrospective: 25. The goals of science and the status of its knowledge; Notes; General references; Bibliography; Author index; Subject index.


'For anyone who really wants to understand physics, this is a splendid and beautifully written book ... this book is an excellent introduction to a historically based philosophy of science, with accurate reporting of many examples from physics, and much attention to primary sources. I would recommend it strongly as an adjunct to standard textbooks of physics for students who seek a real understanding of their subject.' Michael Redhead, Physics World '... I think that Cushing has done an excellent job. If I again teach a course similar to his I will certainly consider using his book as a text ...'. Anthony Leggett, The Times Higher Education Supplement 'As a chronological text in the history and philosophy of science for undergraduate students of the physical sciences, this book is unexcelled.' J. Leplin, Endeavour 'Altogether, the book provides a good overview of the basis underlying 3000 years of physical knowledge ...'. H Rechenberg, Institute of Physics Publishing
EAN: 9780521578233
ISBN: 052157823X
Untertitel: Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: Januar 1998
Format: kartoniert
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