Atomic Order: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Microphysics

Review of Metaphysics 23 (4):739-739 (1970)

The first part of this long two-part work is a history of the development of the modern theory of the atom from Dalton to the present. The second part offers philosophical reflections on this history beginning with a discussion of epistemological implications and following that with an account of ontological implications. The author deals with familiar questions about the reality of micro-particles, complementarity, indeterminism, the role of the observer and other topics. But he also discusses topics like holism, atomic order, the intelligibility of matter and others which are less commonly discussed by philosophers in connection with modern physical theories. The author, who is trained in physics as well as philosophy, has a flair for metaphysical speculation as well as wide knowledge of contemporary physical theory. He stresses the novelties of the quantum conception of matter, argues against its critics like Bohm, and sees it as presenting a radically new conception of atomic order despite its commitment to indeterminism. The views of Werner Heisenberg, who encouraged the author to write the book and who read it in manuscript, have clearly influenced the author, although they do not dominate his thinking.--R. H. K.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632  
DOI revmetaph197023467
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