What is quantum mechanics about? The most natural way to interpret quantum mechanics realistically as a theory about the world might seem to be what is called wave function ontology: the view according to which the wave function mathematically represents in a complete way fundamentally all there is in the world. Erwin Schroedinger was one of the first proponents of such a view, but he dismissed it after he realized it led to macroscopic superpositions (if the wave function evolves in (...) time according to the equations that has his name). The Many-Worlds interpretation1 accepts the existence of such macroscopic superpositions but takes it that they can never be observed. Superposed objects and superposed observers split together in different worlds of the type of the one we appear to live in. For these who, like Schroedinger, think that macroscopic superpositions are a problem, the common wisdom is that there are two alternative views: "Either the wave function, as given by the Schroedinger equation, is not everything, or is not right" [Bell 1987]. The deBroglie-Bohm theory, now commonly known as Bohmian Mechanics, takes the first option: the description provided by a Schroedinger-evolving wave function is supplemented by the information provided by the configuration of the particles. The second possibility consists in assuming that, while the wave function provides the complete description of the system, its temporal evolution is not given by the Schroedinger equation. Rather, the usual Schroedinger evolution is interrupted by random and sudden "collapses". The most promising theory of this kind is the GRW theory, named after the scientists that developed it: Gian Carlo Ghirardi, Alberto Rimini and TullioWeber.. It seems tempting to think that in GRW we can take the wave function ontologically seriously and avoid the problem of macroscopic superpositions just allowing for quantum jumps. In this paper we will argue that such "bare" wave function ontology is not possible, neither for GRW nor for any other quantum theory: quantum mechanics cannot be about the wave function simpliciter. That is, we need more structure than the one provided by the wave function. As a response, quantum theories about the wave function can be supplemented with structure, without taking it as an additional ontology. We argue in reply that such "dressed-up" versions of wave function ontology are not sensible, since they compromise the acceptability of the theory as a satisfactory fundamental physical theory. Therefore we maintain that: 1- Strictly speaking, it is not possible to interpret quantum theories as theories about the wave function; 2- Even if the wave function is supplemented by additional non-ontological structures, there are reasons not to take the resulting theory seriously. Moreover, we will argue that any of the traditional responses to the measurement problem of quantum mechanics (Bohmian mechanics, GRW and Many-Worlds), contrarily to what commonly believed, share a common structure. That is, we maintain that: 3- All quantum theories should be regarded as theories in which physical objects are constituted by a primitive ontology. The primitive ontology is mathematically represented in the theory by a mathematical entity in three-dimensional space, or space-time. (shrink)
Spontaneous localization theory is a quantum theory proposed by GianCarlo Ghirardi, together with Alberto Rimini and TullioWeber in 1986. However, soon it became clear to Ghirardi that his work was more than just one theory: he actually developed a framework, a family of theories in which the wavefunction jumps, but where the ontology of the theory is underdetermined. After acknowledging that the wavefunction did not provide a satisfactory ontology, he assumed that matter was described by a continuous (...) matter density field in three-dimensional space, whose evolution is governed by a stochastic wavefunction evolution. Alternatively, Bell assumed that the wavefunction would govern a spatiotemporal event ontology, dubbed ‘flashes.’ However, not much work has been done with the perhaps most obvious possibility, namely that physical objects are made of particles. This paper has two aims. First to explain the reason why people require spontaneous localization theory to be more than just a theory about the wavefunction. This is done by showing how the problem everyone in the foundation of quantum mechanics take to be the fundamental problem of quantum mechanics, namely the measurement problem, is a red herring. Then, the paper explores the possibility of spontaneous localization theories of particles. I argue that this discussion is not a mere exercise, as spontaneous localization theories of particles may be amenable to a relativistic extension which does not require a foliation, and because in general the peculiar type of indeterminism of spontaneous localization theories may help shedding new light on the nature of the tension between quantum theory and relativity. (shrink)
Max Weber (1864-1920), generally known as a founder of modern social science, was concerned with political affairs throughout his life. The texts in this edition span his career and include his early inaugural lecture The Nation State and Economic Policy, Suffrage and Democracy in Germany, Parliament and Government in Germany under a New Political Order, Socialism, The Profession and Vocation of Politics, and an excerpt from his essay The Situation of Constitutional Democracy in Russia, as well as other shorter (...) writings. Together they illustrate the development of his thinking on the fate of Germany and the nature of politics in the modern western state in an age of cultural 'disenchantment'. The introduction discusses the central themes of Weber's political thought, and a chronology, notes and an annotated bibliography place him in his political and intellectual context. (shrink)
This unique volume gathers Weber's writings on a broad array of themes, from the nature of work, to the political culture of democracy, to the uniqueness of the West, to the character of the family and race relations, to the role of science and the fate of ethical action in the modern world. Gathers Weber’s writings in a comprehensive collection, organized by topic. Rejuvenates a central, pivotal theme of Weberian thought: "How do we live?" and "How can we (...) live in the industrial society?” Connects Weber’s writings to contemporary issues through modern essays and editorial introductions. (shrink)
The Protestant ethic — a moral code stressing hard work, rigorous self-discipline, and the organization of one's life in the service of God — was made famous by sociologist and political economist Max Weber. In this brilliant study (his best-known and most controversial), he opposes the Marxist concept of dialectical materialism and its view that change takes place through "the struggle of opposites." Instead, he relates the rise of a capitalist economy to the Puritan determination to work out anxiety (...) over salvation or damnation by performing good deeds — an effort that ultimately discouraged belief in predestination and encouraged capitalism. Weber's classic study has long been required reading in college and advanced high school social studies classrooms. (shrink)
Philosophers and social scientists will welcome this highly original discussion of Max Weber's analysis of the objectivity of social science. Guy Oakes traces the vital connection between Weber's methodology and the work of philosopher Heinrich Rickert, reconstructing Rickert's notoriously difficult concepts in order to isolate the important, and until now poorly understood, roots of problems in Weber's own work.Guy Oakes teaches social philosophy at Monmouth College and sociology at the New School for Social Research.
Max Weber and Michael Foucault are among the most controversial and fascinating thinkers of our century. This book is the first to jointly analyse them in detail, and to make effective links between their lives and work; it coincides with a substantial resurgence of interest in their writings. The author's exciting interpretative approach reveals a new dimension in reading the work of Foucault and Weber; it will be invaluable to students and those researching in sociology and philosophy.
Whenever disagreement arises, dialogue is often presented as a natural remedy to conciliate opposing subjects. Absence of dialogue resulting in conflict appears thus as being somehow unnatural, a behavioural trait artificially induced by a variety of cultural forces, religion in particular. In this paper I would like to argue that the opposite case might be truer. Dialogue is in fact a most unnatural and unlikely event and, for this reason, to consider it as the natural foundation for a shared universal (...) ethics is a potentially dangerous oversight. Dialogue is heavily dependent on consciousness and language, which are not discreet natural entities, but rather complex culturally-influenced constructs. We shall then explore the problem of the constructions of meaningful dialogues in the light of considerations on the formation of consciousness, taking into account the way in which metaphysical beliefs delimit and shape our epistemological possibilities and our understanding of self and alterity. (shrink)
While Weber’s distinction between ‘ideal’ and ‘material’ interests is one of the most enduring aspects of his theoretical legacy, it has been subjected to little critical commentary. In this article, we revisit the theoretical legacy of interest-based explanation in social theory, with an eye to clarifying Weber’s place in this tradition. We then reconsider extant critical commentary on the ideal/material interest distinction, noting the primarily Parsonian rendering of Weber and the unproductive allegiance to ‘generic need’ readings of (...)Weber’s action theory. We reconstruct the basis of the ideal/material interest distinction in the work of Rudolph von Ihering and provide a sounder basis for its analytic role in Weber’s ‘grand’ project. (shrink)
The present book is the first to undertake a systematic study of Peirce’s conception of historical knowledge and of its value for philosophy. It does so by both reconstructing in detail Peirce’s arguments and giving a detailed account of the many ways in which history becomes an object of explicit reflection in his writings. The book’s leading idea may be stated as follows: Peirce manages to put together an exceptionally compelling argument about history’s bearing on philosophy not so much because (...) he derives it from a well-articulated and polished conception of the relation between the two disciplines; but on the contrary, because he holds on to this relation while intuiting that it can easily turn into a conflict. This potential conflict acts therefore as a spur to put forth an unusually profound and multi-faceted analysis of what it means for philosophy to rely on historical arguments. Peirce looks at history as a way to render philosophical investigations more detailed, more concrete and more sensitive to the infinite and unforeseeable nuances that characterize human experience. In this way, he provides us with an exceptionally valuable contribution to a question that has remained gravely under-theorized in contemporary debates. (shrink)
Tullio Viola – One of the most relevant aspects of your intellectual career is your reflection on the link between historical and normative arguments with regard to values. This reflection goes back at least to your 1997 book The Genesis of Values, and may be seen to culminate in the methodological chapter of your 2011 book on The Sacredness of the Person, in which you talk about the need for an “affirmative genealogy” of values. As you have made clear (...) many times (most recently in the article... (shrink)
Lighting upon Weber as a history student in the late 1950s led to all round engagement with his work to the present day, beginning with rationality and bureaucracy, passing through appreciation of his synoptic vision of modernity, and arguing for the continuing relevance of his rationalization thesis. This emphasis on Weber’s contribution to understanding the course of modernity led in the 1990s to pointing out that his approach to epochal shift provides the basis for understanding the global age. (...) The ever-developing nature of his thought can be further illustrated in his studies of China. (shrink)
Weber-Fechner Law states that the perceived intensity is proportional to the logarithm of the stimulus. Recent experiments suggest that this law also holds true for perception of numerosity. Therefore, the use of a logarithmic scale for the quantification of the perceived intensity may also depend on how the cognitive apparatus processes information. If Weber-Fechner law is the result of natural selection, then the logarithmic scale should be better, in some sense, than other biologically feasible scales. We consider the (...) minimization of the relative error as the target of natural selection and we provide a formal proof that the logarithmic scale minimizes the maximal relative error. (shrink)
Der vorliegende Band enthalt den ersten Teil der Studien Max Webers zur Wirtschaftsethik der Weltreligionen. Vergleichende religionssoziologische Versuche, die seit 1915 als eine Aufsatzfolge im "Archiv fur Sozialwissenschaft und Sozialpolitik" erschienen sind. Den Auftakt bildete die Studie uber Konfuzianismus und Taoismus, die in die soziologischen Grundlagen der chinesischen Religiositat und ihrer spezifischen Haltung zu wirtschaftlichem Handeln einfuhrt. Spatestens seit 1910 weitete Max Weber seine in der `Protestantischen Ethik' entwickelte Fragestellung aus. Die Frage nach den Bedingungen fur die Entstehung des (...) modernen okzidentalen Rationalismus fuhrte ihn zu seinen universalhistorisch angelegten Studien. Diese zielen darauf ab, die Besonderheit der Moderne vor der Kenntnis anderer Kulturen und ihrer Sinnsysteme besser zu verstehen. Das grossangelegte Forschungsprogramm wird in der Einleitung zur Wirtschaftsethik der Weltreligionen systematisch umrissen und in der Zwischenbetrachtung: Theorie der Stufen und Richtungen religioser Weltablehnung vertieft. Max Weber hat die Aufsatze uber Konfuzianismus und Taoismus sowie Einleitung und Zwischenbetrachtung kurz vor seinem Tod fur den ersten Band Gesammelte Aufsatze zur Religionssoziologie uberarbeitet und in den Satz gegeben. Die Edition prasentiert diese beiden Textfassungen und berucksichtigt eine bisher unbekannte Korrekturfassung, so dass die Textgenese nun zuverlassig und im Detail nachvollziehbar ist. Philologisch gepruft und bearbeitet wurden Max Webers Angaben zur chinesischen Geschichte und Literatur. Der Ertrag findet sich in den textkritischen und erlauternden Apparaten sowie in den Verzeichnissen. Ein wichtiger Teil der religionssoziologischen Arbeiten Max Webers liegt damit in einer zuverlassigen Ausgabe vor, die die verschiedenen Textschichten berucksichtigt. (shrink)
English summary: The Max Weber-Studienausgabe (MWS) renders Max Weber's works and speeches accessible to a large audience, using the complete and reliable Max Weber-Gesamtausgabe (MWG) as its basis while deliberately dispensing with its editional apparatus. It has however been laid out in such a manner that the reader can easily fall back on the MWG.This is a critical edition of Max Weber's Hinduism and Buddhism, the second of Max Weber's studies on the Economic Ethics of (...) World Religions which followed his famous studies on the relationship between the Protestant ethic and sectarian Protestantism and the spirit of capitalism. This edition offers not only the original text but also an introduction, an editorial report and editorial comments and is thus indispensable for Indologists, for cultural anthropologists and for all those studying the history of various religions. German description: Die Max Weber-Studienausgabe (MWS) will die Schriften und Reden Max Webers auf der gesicherten Textgrundlage der Max Weber-Gesamtausgabe (MWG) allgemein zuganglich machen, unter Verzicht auf den editorischen Apparat. Doch ist sie so angelegt, dass dem Benutzer der Ruckgriff auf die MWG jederzeit moglich ist. Deshalb folgt die Studienausgabe in Textkonstitution und Anordnung der Texte durchgangig der MWG. Um dem Leser daruber hinaus das Aufsuchen von Fundstellen zu erleichtern, sind am Fuss jeder Seite die entsprechenden Seitenzahlen der MWG angegeben. Ausserdem wird auf die gangigen Ausgaben verwiesen, die bisher in der Sekundarliteratur gebrauchlich sind.Der vorliegende Band ist eine textkritische Edition des von Max Weber fur den zweiten Band der Gesammelten Aufsatze zur Religionssoziologie uberarbeiteten zweiten Teils der unter dem Titel Die Wirtschaftsethik der Weltreligionen. Vergleichende religionssoziologische Versuche vorgelegten bahnbrechenden kulturvergleichenden Studien. Hinduismus und Buddhismus erscheint hier erstmals in historisch-kritischer Edition. Dieses in der ganzen Welt, nicht zuletzt in Indien selbst, vielbeachtete Werk ist nicht nur wissenschafts- und methodologiegeschichtlich von grosser Bedeutung, sondern ist als beispielhafte Kulturanalyse Indiens nach wie vor ein Standardwerk zur indischen Religiositat, insbesondere zum Hinduismus und zum Buddhismus. Der Anhang bietet ausfuhrliche Informationen uber die Textgrundlage dieser Ausgabe und uber die Entstehung der Schriften. In einem Abschnitt Zur Textkonstitution werden die editorischen Grundsatze der MWG dargelegt und die fur die Studienausgabe notwendigen Erganzungen. Insbesondere wird mitgeteilt, wann und in welcher Weise Emendationen am Text vorgenommen wurden. Unter der Uberschrift Zur Entstehung und Uberlieferung der Texte berichten die Herausgeber uber die Entstehungsgeschichte der Texte und den zeit- und werkgeschichtlichen Kontext. Am Ende des Bandes folgen Verzeichnisse und Register. (shrink)