Niels Bohr's Philosophy of Quantum Physics in the Light of the Helmholtzian Tradition of Theoretical Physics
Year of publication: 2003
Price: 23.00 Eur
Philosophie von Niels Bohr , Quantentheorie, Quantenmechanik , Kant, Helmholtz, Planck, Heisenberg , Einheit der Physik , Komplementarität
Review (ISIS Vol. 95, no. 2, June 2004, p. 334-5):
"In this fascinating, rich book, Brock makes a very plausable
case that Bohr continued to develop the neo-Kantian methaphysical
tradition of Goethe, Helmholtz and Hertz ... Indeed it appears that
many interpreters of Bohr's philosophy of quantum mechanics have
fundamentally misunderstood or even missed the problems that Bohr felt it
crucial to address"
The book: Steen Brock paints a cross-disciplinary picture of the philosophical and
scientific background for the rise of the quantum theory. He accounts for
the unity of Kantian metaphysics of Nature and the Helmholtzian principles and
Hamiltonian methods of modern pre-quantum physics. Brock shows how Planck's vision of a generalization of classical physics implies that the original quantum mechanics of Heisenberg can be regarded as a successful attempt to maintain
this modern unity of physics.
However, for Niels Bohr, the unity of science and metaphysics did not end in the world of physics. The development of quantum physics had general implications both for other sciences and for various philosophical issues. Brock discusses these matters in respect to recent topics within the philosophy of
science and major interpretations of Bohr's ideas.
Brock offers an invitation to any intellectual, to follow a long and winding route of thought which, in the end, will take you to Bohr's ideas of complementarity, culture and spirit.
The author: Steen Brock is Associate Professor at the Department of Philosophy, University of Aarhus, Denmark and a former high school teacher in physics and
mathematics. He is Executive Editor of the interdisciplinary Nordic
Journal of Philosophy, SATS. He is ph. d. in neo-Wittgensteinian
moralphilosophy, he contributes to the new complete and commentated
edition of Søren Kierkegaards works, and has published papers on
philosophy of science, semantics,and German Idealism.