On Heisenberg’s Key Statements Concerning Ontology

Review of Metaphysics 67 (4):835-859 (2014)

Despite a flurry of renewed scholarly interest in the development of Heisenberg’s scientific work, and in his complex relation to the dramatic unfolding of German cultural history in his time, there has yet to be executed a sustained and philosophically critical interpretative commentary on the book that is his crucial philosophical-ontological legacy, Physics and Philosophy: The Revolution in Modern Science. Given the profound ontological puzzles that continue to attend quantum physics and its implications for humanity’s past as well as present and future conception of reality, such a critical exegesis of this text is overdue. No thinker has yet appeared who possesses such an authoritative combination of the decisively necessary learning, in quantum physics and in the historical development of philosophic ontology. This article tries to extricate the central nerve of Heisenberg’s sinuously unfolding, dialectical exposition, and in the process to elucidate its strengths but also its deep ambiguities and perplexities—which express fundamental dilemmas that pervade contemporary ontology
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph201467441
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