Erwin Schrödinger: An Introduction to His Writings

Review of Metaphysics 23 (3):566-566 (1970)

This is the first comprehensive study of Schrödinger's scientific and philosophical writings. The task requires a person trained thoroughly in physical science and yet capable of appreciating the sometimes puzzling philosophical ideas Schrödinger put forward. Professor Scott, a physicist, is remarkably successful at communicating both the physical and the philosophical ideas. After a brief summary of Schrödinger's diverse writings, he divides the writings into four groups which are treated in separate chapters. The first group, including very early papers, deals with Schrödinger's work on Statistical Mechanics, and statistical theories in general. The second covers the crucial development of Wave Mechanics. The third concerns Schrödinger's interpretation of quantum mechanics and the important departures from the prevailing views of the Copenhagen school. Finally the fourth group contains Schrödinger's views on life and the self. The author shows that Schrödinger was led to his doctrine of identity by reflecting on the paradox of freedom and determinism. His study "What is Life?" convinced him that living systems are governed by the law of causality but he also believed that men were free. The doctrine of identity was his solution to the paradox. Scott is critical of this solution and a number of other doctrines of Schrödinger. The book is clearly written throughout and is a good introduction to Schrödinger's thought.--R. H. K.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632  
DOI revmetaph197023334
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