Appearance and Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Physics

Oxford University Press USA (1997)

Abstract

Appearance and Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Physics addresses quantum mechanics and relativity and their philosophical implications, focusing on whether these theories of modern physics can help us know nature as it really is, or only as it appears to us. The author clearly explains the foundational concepts and principles of both quantum mechanics and relativity and then uses them to argue that we can know more than mere appearances, and that we can know to some extent the way things really are. He argues that modern physics gives us reason to believe that we can know some things about the objective, real world, but he also acknowledges that we cannot know everything, which results in a position he calls "realistic realism." This book is not a survey of possible philosophical interpretations of modern physics, nor does it leap from a caricature of the physics to some wildly alarming metaphysics. Instead, it is careful with the physics and true to the evidence in arriving at its own realistic conclusions. It presents the physics without mathematics, and makes extensive use of diagrams and analogies to explain important ideas. Engaging and accessible, Appearance and Reality serves as an ideal introduction for anyone interested in the intersection of philosophy and physics, including students in philosophy of physics and philosophy of science courses.

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Citations of this work

Realism for Realistic People.Hasok Chang - 2018 - Spontaneous Generations 9 (1):31-34.
What Is and Why Do We Need Philosophy of Physics?Meinard Kuhlmann & Wolfgang Pietsch - 2012 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 43 (2):209-214.
On Structuralism’s Multiple Paths Through Spacetime Theories.Edward Slowik - 2012 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (1):45-66.

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