By Henry Margenau
This booklet is meant for individuals drawn to physics and its philosophy. if you regard physics as an integral part of contemporary tradition instead of only a device for or battle. certainly this quantity is addressed to these scholars, lecturers and study employees who get pleasure from studying, instructing or doing physics, and are within the behavior of pausing on occasion to think of over key actual innovations and hypotheses and to wonder if obtained theories are as excellent as textbooks might have us think and, if now not, how they could be more desirable. Henry Margenau, lately retired from Yale college as Eugene Higgins Professor of Physics and Philosophy, is an important thinker of physics of his iteration, and certainly the most eminent philosophers of technology of our century. He brought and elucidated the concept of the correspondence rule. He claimed and confirmed, within the heyday of positivism, that physics has metaphysical presuppositions. He was once the 1st to achieve that quantum mechanics can do with no von Neumann's projection postulat- and that was once way back to 1936. He clarified the physics and the philosophy of Pauli's exclusion precept at a time while it appeared mysterious. He used to be the 1st physicist to put up a philosophical paper in a physics magazine, which he did as early as 1941. He was once additionally one of many infrequent scientists who proclaimed the necessity for a systematic method of worth conception and ethics.
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Additional info for Physics and Philosophy: Selected Essays
Probability, Many-Valued Logics and Physics', Philosophy of Science, voL2,1935. Copyright 1935, The Williams and Wilkins Co. 6,1935. 21,1954. Copyright 1954 by The Williams and Wilkins Co. 6,1954. 'Relativity: An Epistemological Appraisal', Philosophy of Science, voL24,1957. Copyright 1957, The Williams and Wilkins Co. 25,1958. Copyright 1958, The Williams and Wilkins Co. 105,1961. 'Western Culture, Scientific Method, and the Problem of Ethics', American journal of Physics, voL15,194 7. 19,1954.
His physics can be summed up as follows. Beginning with the primary postulate: There exists something because it is the object of our thought, he argues that being and ftlling space are synonymous. Hence vacant space does not exist. Ergo: there can be no motion, since motion takes a thing from the space it occupies to the space where it is not. Since the latter (in his view) does not exist, motion can not take place. Neither can there be a separation of the world substance. Continuing this reasoning he finally concludes that coexistence and succession are non-entities, fallacies of the senses.
We find here the first version of a principle of determinism or causality. Pythagoras, mathematician, physicist and philosopher, discovered the connection between pitch and length of a vibrating string, proposed a theory of vision and assigned simple stereometric forms to INTRODUCTION xxxiii different atoms. But he also proclaimed numbers to be the only reality, taught recurrence of events and the transmigration of souls. Plato, (427-347) whose philosophy we shall not review, also produced a theory of vision, displayed intimate knowledge of air pressure, magnetism, capillarity and the formation of crystals.