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On Physics and Philosophy
Bernard d'Espagnat

Book Description | Reviews
Chapter 1 [HTML] or [PDF format]

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Preface to the English Edition xi
Foreword 1

PART 1: PHYSICAL FACTS AND RELATED CONCEPTUAL PROBLEMS

CHAPTER 1: Broad Overview 13
1-1. A General Picture 13
1-2. Some Useful Definitions 21

CHAPTER 2: Overstepping the Limits of the Framework of Familiar Concepts 32
2-1. Introduction 32
2-2. From Aristotle's Ontology to Descartes' Near Realism and Galilean Ontology 32
2-3. A Small Digression on Ontology 34
2-4. A Gradual Overstepping 37
2-5. Trajectories and Misleading "Pieces of Evidence" 38
2-6. On the Existence or Nonexistence of Hidden Things: Particles and Dirac's Sea 41
2-7. A "Fabricated" Ontology 46
2-8. Indications for What Follows 48

CHAPTER 3: Nonseparability and Bell's Theorem 51
3-1. Correlation at-a-Distance: Bell's Theorem 51
3-2. Locality and the Bell Theorem 58
3-3. Discussion and Philosophical Implications 71

CHAPTER 4: Objectivity and Empirical Reality 89
4-1. Strong Objectivity and Weak Objectivity (Alias Intersubjectivity) 89
4-2. The Measurement Problem and Empirical Reality 101
4-3. "Quantum Rules" and "von Neumann's Chain" 110

CHAPTER 5: Quantum Physics and Realism 113
5-1. Strong Objectivity and Realism 113
5-2. Intersubjective Agreement 127
5-3. Intersubjective Agreement and Empirical Reality 127
5-4. Conceptual Glimpses; Carnap, Quine, Primas; Relative Ontologies 129

CHAPTER 6: Universal Laws and the "Reality" Question 134
6-1. The "Theoretical Framework" Notion 134
6-2. Antiuniversalism and "Realism about Entities" 136
6-3. "Pythagorism" ("Einsteinism") 142
6-4. Remarks Concerning Two "Macrorealisms" 145
6-5. Quantum Mechanics as a Universal Theoretical Framework 146
6-6. Antirealism 148

CHAPTER 7: Antirealism and Physics; the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen Problem; Methodological Operationalism 152
7-1. "Value of a Quantum Physical Quantity" in the Antirealist Framework 152
7-2. Operationalism (Alias "Instrumentalism") 156
7-3. On "Meaning" and "Prediction" 166

CHAPTER 8: Measurement and Decoherence, Universality Revisited 168
8-1. Introduction 168
8-2. Decoherence 177
8-3. Decoherence and State Robustness 189
8-4. The Everett-Zurek Semirealist Approach 190
8-5. Universality Revisited 192

CHAPTER 9: Various Realist Attempts 196
9-1. Introduction 196
9-2. On Our Intellectual Craving for Realism 196
9-3. The Broglie-Bohm Approach 199
9-4. The So-Called "Modal" Interpretation 206
9-5. The Heisenberg Representation: It Does Not, by Itself, Yield a Solution 209
9-6. Feynman's Reformulation and the Corresponding "Fabricated Ontology" 211
9-7. A "Realism of Signification" 216
9-8. Nonlinear Realist Quantum Theories 220
9-9. Outlook 222

CHAPTER 10: Schrödinger's Cat, Wigner's Friend, and Veiled Reality 225
10-1. Introduction 225
10-2. Of Pointers and Cats 225
10-3. Wigner's Friend 228
10-4. The Veiled Reality Hypothesis 236

PART 2: A PHILOSOPHICAL ANALYSIS

CHAPTER 11: Science and Philosophy 249
11-1. The Impossible Split 249
11-2. Epistemology in the Late Twentieth Century 250
11-3. A Critical Glance at Some Claims 255
11-4. Physics and Linguistics 258
11-5. Sociologism 261
11-6. The End of Certainties? 263

CHAPTER 12: Materialisms 265
12-1. Introduction 265
12-2. Dialectical Materialism 265
12-3. The So-Called "Scientific" Materialism 266
12-4. "Neomaterialism" and Physics 272
12-5. The Purely Philosophical Aspects of Neomaterialism 276
12-6. Materialism and Wisdom 281

CHAPTER 13: Suggestions from Kantism 282
13-1. Introduction 282
13-2. A Look at Kantism 282
13-3. Facing the Refusal of the Independent Reality Notion 291
13-4. Kant and Our Contemporaries 306

CHAPTER 14: Causality and Observational Predictability 312
14-1. Introduction 312
14-2. Causes and Laws 312
14-3. Determinism and Causality 315
14-4. Determinism and Chaos 316
14-5. Quantum Indeterminacy 319
14-6. Predictability and Reliability Revisited 326
14-7. The Influence Notion Revisited 330

CHAPTER 15: Explanation and Phenomena 333
15-1. Introduction 333
15-2. The Notion of Explanation 333
15-3. Back to the "Explanatory Power of Predictive Rules" Question 342
15-4. Empirical Reality and Abstractions, Explanation, and Empirical Causality 344
15-5. The Rainbow Analogy 347
15-6. Removing the "Paradox of the Dinosaurs" 351
15-7. The "False Explanation" Question 352

CHAPTER 16: Mind and Things 354
16-1. Empiricism, Positivism, and So On 354
16-2. Phenomenalism 355
16-3. Ambiguities about Innatism 366
16-4. Poincaré, Conventionalism, and Structural Realism 368

CHAPTER 17: Pragmatic-Transcendental versus Veiled Reality Approaches 376
17-1. Introduction 376
17-2. Replies to Michel Bitbol's and Hervé Zwirn's Objections 376
17-3. The Pragmatic-Transcendental Approach 396
17-4. A Few Notes on Zwirn's Approach 402

CHAPTER 18: Objects and Consciousness 405
18-1. Introduction 405
18-2. Truth: Definitions and Criteria 406
18-3. Objects and "Orders," or "Levels," of Reality 408
18-4. A Few Remarks Concerning Sensations 411
18-5. On the Question of the Plurality of Minds 426

CHAPTER 19: The "Ground of Things" 429
19-1. Introduction 429
19-2. Mystery, Affectivity, and Meaning 429
19-3. Do Things Have a "Ground"? Pro and Con Received Arguments 434
19-4. Some Consequences of the Evolution of Physics 443
19-5. The Veiled Reality Conception Reexamined 449

APPENDIX 1: The Bell Theorem 465
A. Proof 465
B. A Simplified Proof 470
C. A Glance at the Experimental State of Things 473
D. Historical Comments and a Short Bibliography 474

APPENDIX 2: Consistent Histories, Counterfactuality, and Bell's Theorem 477
APPENDIX 3
Correlation-at-a-Distance in the Broglie-Bohm Model 483

References 485
Name Index 493
Subject Index 497

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File created: 4/17/2014

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