Objectivity, Causality and Ideology in Modern Physics

Science and Society 63 (4):433 - 458 (1999)
Abstract
Philosophical relativism, which denies objectivity and undermines causality, has been a constant feature of ideological struggle in this century, especially in mystifying science and undercutting belief in social progress through scientific understanding. Surprisingly, while the relativist attack has been led by culture critics, they have been able to claim support from the writings of some of the leading scientists themselves, especially in quantum theory. While current quantum theory yields a highly accurate representation of reality, it has been interpreted to deny objectivity and causality. Einstein fought throughout his life against these relativist interpretations, associated especially with the views of Bohr and Heisenberg. It is only in the last few years that Einstein has been largely vindicated by new experimental and theoretical developments, and by a fuller understanding of how the Copenhagen interpretation of Bohr came to dominate the conventional wisdom.
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