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Philosophy Behind Physics - Thomas A. Brody

Philosophy Behind Physics

By: Thomas A. Brody, Luis De La Pena (Editor), P. E. Hodgson (Editor), L. de la Pena (Editor)

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Thomas Brody (1922-1988) was born in Munich and studied in England and Switzerland. He worked as a chemical engineer in Italy and in Mexico and later concentrated on statistical problems in nuclear physics, probability theory, artificial intelligence, and simulation and computational methods. In his philosophical work, he desired to remove the barriers between physics and philosophy by discovering the philosophy implicit in the actual process of scientific research. He developed a theory of "active epistemic cycles" to explain how we come to know about things. This theory does justice to the richness and complexity of scientific research. Brody applied his ideas to a wide range of problems in the philosophy of physics, especially quantum mechanics, giving special attention to the Bell inequalities. The publication of his views was frequently blocked by the establishment, and his work has until now remained relatively unknown. In this thoughtful and wide-ranging book the author spells out many of the basic concepts of the philosophy of physics together with their consequences. Emphasis is given to the experimental side of physics, the process of construction of theories and the elaboration of the ensemble concept of probability. Also treated are the philosophical problems of quantum theory, including causality, realism, quantum logic and the meaning of Bell's inequalities.

I. The Philosophy of Physics.- 1. The Active Epistemology.- 2. Higher-Level Epistemic Cycles.- 3. Systems and Experiments.- 4. The Structure of Theories.- 5. Induction and the Scope of Theories.- 6. The Incommensurability of Theories.- 7. A Minimal Ontology for Scientific Research.- 8. The Determinisms of Physics.- II. The Theory of Probability.- 9. The Nature of Probability.- 10. The Ensemble Interpretation of Probability.- 11. The Philosophy of Ensemble Probability.- 12. On Errors and Approximations.- III. The Philosophy of Quantum Mechanics.- 13. Problems and Promises of the Ensemble Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics.- 14. Probability and the Way Out of the Great Quantum Muddle.- 15. Are Hidden Variables Possible?.- 16. The Bell Inequality I: Joint Measurability.- 17. The Bell Inequality II: Locality.- 18. The Irrelevance of the Bell Inequality.- 19. Measurement and State Representation.- 20. On Quantum Logic.- 21. Resistance to Change in the Sciences: The Case of Quantum Mechanics.- IV. General.- 22. Epistemological Implications of Artificial Intelligence.- 23. Artificial Intelligence: Possibilities and Realities, Hopes and Dangers.- 24. Philosophy and Physicists.- 25. The Axiomatic Approach in Physics.- List of Publications of T.A. Brody.- Name Index.

ISBN: 9783540579526
ISBN-10: 3540579524
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 355
Publisher: Springer-Verlag Berlin and Heidelberg Gmbh & Co. Kg
Country of Publication: DE
Dimensions (cm): 23.39 x 15.6  x 1.96
Weight (kg): 0.52
Edition Type: New edition