According to the standard view, the so-called ‘Copenhagen interpretation’ of quantum mechanics originated in discussions between Bohr and Heisenberg in 1927, and was defended by Bohr in his classic debate with Einstein. Yet recent scholarship has shown Bohr’s views were never widely accepted, let alone properly understood, by his contemporaries, many of whom held divergent views of the ‘Copenhagen orthodoxy’. This paper examines how the ‘myth of the Copenhagen interpretation’ was constructed by situating it in the context of Soviet Marxist (...) critique of quantum mechanics in the 1950s and the response by physicists such as Heisenberg and Rosenfeld. (shrink)
This paper presents a critical analysis of Tamar Szabó Gendler’s view of thought experiments, with the aim of developing further a constructivist epistemology of thought experiments in science. While the execution of a thought experiment cannot be reduced to standard forms of inductive and deductive inference, in the process of working though a thought experiment, a logical argument does emerge and take shape. Taking Gendler’s work as a point of departure, I argue that performing a thought experiment involves a process (...) of self-interrogation, in which we are compelled to reflect on our pre-existing knowledge of the world. In doing so, we are forced to make judgments about what assumptions we see as relevant and how they apply to an imaginary scenario. This brings to light the extent to which certain forms of skill, beyond the ability to make valid logical inferences, are necessary to execute a thought experiment well. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that Heisenberg's mature philosophy of quantum mechanics must be understood in the context of his epistemological project to reinterpret and redefine Kant's notion of the a priori. After discussions with Weizsäcker and Hermann in Leipzig in the 1930s, Heisenberg attempted to ground his interpretation of quantum mechanics on what might be termed a 'practical' transformation of Kantian philosophy. Taking as his starting point, Bohr's doctrine of the indispensability of classical concepts, Heisenberg argued that concepts such (...) as space, time and causality can be regarded as 'practically a priori', in so far as they remain the conditions for the possibility of experience and even of 'objective reality', though they are not universal and necessary in a strictly Kantian sense. We cannot avoid using classical concepts in the description of experiments in quantum theory, despite the fact that there are limits to their applicability. Such concepts are, for Heisenberg, historically contingent, yet indispensable in our time, because we have no other language through which we can describe and conceive of the interaction between 'object' and 'measuring device'. (shrink)
: This paper examines the transformation which occurs in Heisenberg's understanding of indeterminacy in quantum mechanics between 1926 and 1928. After his initial but unsuccessful attempt to construct new quantum concepts of space and time, in 1927 Heisenberg presented an operational definition of concepts such as 'position' and 'velocity'. Yet, after discussions with Bohr, he came to the realisation that classical concepts such as position and momentum are indispensable in quantum mechanics in spite of their limited applicability. This transformation in (...) Heisenberg's thought, which centres on his theory of meaning, marks the critical turning point in his interpretation of quantum mechanics. (shrink)
“The confrontation between string theory and its critics,” writes Jarod Lanier, “is one of the great intellectual dramas of our age”. String theory is widely regarded by its practitioners as the only the only viable option for constructing a unified theory of gravity and elementary particle physics. It has attracted an unprecedented number of researchers, including many Nobel Laureates, and has been instrumental in opening up new areas at the intersection of mathematics and physics.. Yet, since the 1980s it has (...) been mired in controversy, and has been labelled science, speculative metaphysics, non-science, pseudoscience.. (shrink)
The book Heisenberg and the Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics—The Physicist as Philosopher, by KristianCamilleri is critically reviewed. The work details Heisenberg’s philosophical development from an early positivist commitment towards a later philosophy of language. It is of interest to researchers and graduate students in the history and philosophy of quantum mechanics.
In 2016, the National Book Council, the ISBN agency for Malta, released its ISBN database online. A few months later, the ISBN database was enhanced with an open-data feature that enables users to download the search results in a single file with read and write access. The database includes all the ISBN data of Malta except for some records and data that were lost during the period before 2013 when paper data storage of ISBN records was the common practice. The (...) implementation of an ISBN electronic database now ensures that no data go missing and facilitates the preservation of metadata. As added value, the open-data system provides access to all of the ISBN records as listed in the database, which means that virtually all of the ISBN data elements can be downloaded from the database. Researchers, publishers, authors, and booksellers all stand to benefit from this open ISBN data system. (shrink)
Purpose This study aims to examine the individuals’ perceived usefulness and ease of use of the government’s electronic services. It also explores the effect of the social influences, as well as of the facilitating conditions, on the individuals’ intentions to use the government’s digital and mobile services. Design/methodology/approach The researcher has adapted various measuring items from the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology and from the theory of acceptance model to investigate the participants’ utilitarian motivations to engage with (...) the government’s online services. The analysis involved a two-step, structural equation modeling approach that included a confirmatory factor analysis that verified the constructs’ validity and reliability. Findings There was a satisfactory fit for this study’s research model. The findings revealed that there were direct and indirect effects that predicted the individuals’ readiness to use the e-government services. The results suggest that the respondents’ perceived usefulness and ease of use of this digital technology were significant antecedents for their behavioral intention to use it. The strength of these relationships was affected by the moderating variables, including, age, gender and experience. Yet, these demographic variables did not have a significant effect on the link between social influences and behavioral intention. Originality/value This study reported that the citizens felt that the e-government systems were useful and easy to use for them. The research participants indicated that they will continue accessing their government’s online services. Therefore, this research implies that the public services should continue improving the facilitating conditions, including the provision of service quality and capability; as well as secure the accessibility to their e-government systems via digital and mobile technologies. In conclusion, this contribution identifies possible research avenues to academia. (shrink)
The document presented below stems from the Jean Hering Nachlass in the Médiathèque protestante of Strasbourg and was originally preserved in the Archive of the Collegium Wilhelmitanum Argentinense of the same city. It concerns a typescript of 7 folios, which was unknown up until now, dealing with the idealism-realism controversy and presenting original views on the consequences of this controversy regarding the issue of metaphysics.
The paper treats issues concerning the modular modelisation of musical mental processes. Some musical phenomena, like musical illusions, are explained in the framework of modularity and hypotheses are advanced in which the modular model seems very promising for the study of musical perception and cognition. In addition, arguments are proposed to distinguish between levels of abstraction and knowledge in musical cognitive processes.Moreover, some aspects about the theory of musical competence and the theory of musical processing are identified and the possibilities (...) for the integration of varying theoretical assertions are considered in light of these distinctions. (shrink)
This essay returns to the origins of the phenomenology of religion, offering an introduction to and a discussion of seminal contributions to the field. Three figures are examined: Max Scheler, Adolf Reinach and the early Martin Heidegger, who are presented as the ‘German Fathers’ of the phenomenology of religion. Each conducted a radical foray into the religious life-world, sometimes in accord with the project of their Master Edmund Husserl, sometimes opposing or radically revising his project, but typically developing new methods (...) and proposing radical insights. They attempted to define the proper attitude a phenomenologist – who might possibly also be a religious person – should adopt in the face of phenomena and lived experiences clearly beyond the ordinary. This enterprise led to heated debates and a rich analysis described here. (shrink)
La philosophie développée par le jeune Heidegger constitue une pensée autonome qui dégage des réponses fortes à des questions dont l’intérêt ne dépend pas de leur lien au reste de l’oeuvre, qu’il s’agisse du maître ouvrage Être et Temps ou des méditations postérieures sur les présocratiques et les poètes. Cela vaut en particulier des travaux qui touchent ou effleurent la problématique théologico-religieuse. Dans cette étude, nous enquêtons philologiquement et philosophiquement sur les occurrences du mot «Dieu» dans le corpus proto-heideggerien afin (...) de montrer comment sa manifestation dans le texte est à chaque fois décisive. Nous postulons ensuite qu’il ne s’agit pas d’une spécificité heideggerienne, mais d’une qualité phénoménologico-herméneutique du mot lui-même. (shrink)
La thématique du commencement n’est pas l’exclusivité de la philosophie et de ses multiples entreprises archéologiques. Elle a aussi son lieu originaire dans la religion. L’objet de la présente étude est le livre de la Genèse. L’intérêt va directement à la qualité poétique – au sens que Ricœur donne à ce mot – et donc à la puissance d’évocation du langage biblique. A ce titre, on verra que la phénoménologie herméneutique est susceptible de trouver dans la Genèse non seulement matière (...) à interprétation, mais également de découvrir des choses à propos d’elle-même et de ses possibilités. Il incombe aujourd’hui à la phénoménologie contemporaine de ne rien exclure trop vite de son champ d’analyse et d’être capable de se mouvoir sur deux registres à la fois distincts et complémentaires : celui des « types possibles de phénomènes » et celui des « degrés de phénoménalité ». Dans ce manifeste est contenue l’une des possibilités que cet article voudrait explorer : celle de tenter la constitution programmatique d’une phénoménologie biblique.The theme of the beginning is not limited to philosophy and its many archeological undertakings. It also has its source in religion. The object of the present study is the book of Genesis. It focuses directly on the poetic quality – in the sense that Ricoeur gives to the word – and therefore to the imaginative power of biblical language. Thus, we come to see that hermeneutical phenomenology is likely not only to find material for interpretation in Genesis, but also to discover things about itself and its own possibilities. Today it is the duty of contemporary phenomenology not to exclude anything too quickly from its field of analysis and to be capable of operating on two distinct yet complimentary levels: the level of “possible types of phenomena” and the level of “degrees of phenomenality.” This manifesto contains one of these possibilities, which this article would like to explore: the attempt programmatically to establish a biblical phenomenology. (shrink)