Scheibe is one of the most important philosophers of science in Germany. He has written extensively on all the problems that confront the philosophy of physics: rationalism vs. empiricism; reductionism; the foundations of quantum mechanics; space-time, and much more. Since little of his work has been translated into English, he is not yet well known internationally. However, this collection of some 40 of his papers will remedy this unfortunate situation.
A successor relation between theories T und T₁ express that T₁, the successor of T, has justifiably superseded T. In physics, for instance, Newton's theory of gravitation has superseded Kepler's laws and, in turn, Einstein's theory has become the successor of Newton's. By now there is no agreement on how a general concept of successor relation would have to be construed. In the present paper attention is drawn to two types of such relations, one deductive the other confirmatory. It seems (...) that what most people are looking for is the deductive type of relation. However, a deductive successor relation has to be justified by showing that if it holds then another, confirmatory relation holds, saying roughly that the actual empirical success of the deducing theory is at least as good as the corresponding success of the deduced theory. Under certain restrictions such a justification is given in the paper. (shrink)
It seems a generally acknowledged view that physics is confined to the investigation of events that can be reproduced. “The natural scientist — says Pauli1 — is concerned with a particular kind of phenomena … he has to confine himself to that which is reproducible… I do not claim that the reproducible by itself is more important than the unique. But I do claim that the unique exceeds the treatment by scientific method. Indeed it is the aim of this method (...) to find and to test natural laws…” Here for Pauli as for everybody else a natural law is a statement expressing a regularity more or less directly related to repeatable events. And one may add that it is not only the possibility of testing that is responsible for our demand of reproducibility. Rather it is the very fact of regularity expressed in it that gives a natural law its dignity and makes it a subject worth studying on its own account. (shrink)