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New Vistas on Old Problems: Recent Approaches to the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics

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Book Series: Proceedings 3: Max Planck Research Library for the History and Development of Knowledge ISBN: 9783844242843 Year: Pages: 188 Language: English
Publisher: Edition Open Access
Added to DOAB on : 2017-03-07 12:14:48
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Quantum theory has been a subject of interpretational debates ever since its inception. The Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox, the empirical violation of Bell’s inequalities, and recent activities to exploit quantum entanglement for technological innovation only exacerbate a long-standing philosophical debate. Despite no-signaling theorems and theories of decoherence, deep-rooted conflicts between special relativistic principles and observed quantum correlations as well as between definite measurement outcomes and quantum theoretical superpositions persist.This collection of papers, first presented at an international symposium at the University of Bern in 2011, highlights some recent approaches to the old problems of a philosophy of quantum mechanics. The authors address the issues from a variety of perspectives, ranging from variations of causal theory and system theoretic interpretations of the observer to an empirical test of whether entanglement itself can be entangled. The essays demonstrate that the discussion about the foundations of quantum mechanics is as lively and interesting as ever.

Vital Reenchantments: Biophilia, Gaia, Cosmos, and the Affectively Ecological

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ISBN: 9781950192076 9781950192083 Year: Pages: 276 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0240.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2019-03-26 11:21:03
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Not all charms fly at the touch of cold philosophy. Vital Reenchantments examines so-called cold philosophy, or science, that does precisely the opposite — rather than mercilessly emptying out and unweaving, it operates as a philosophy that animates. More specifically, Greyson closely examines how a specific group of “poet-in-scientists” of the late 1970s and 1980s directed attention to the “wondrous” unfolding of life, at a time when the counter-culture in particular had made the institution of science synonymous with technologies of alienation and destruction. In this vein, Vital Reenchantments takes up E.O. Wilson’s Biophilia (1984), James Lovelock’s Gaia (1979), and Carl Sagan’s Cosmos (1980), in order to show how each work fleshes out scientific concepts with a unique attention to “affective wonder,” understood as the experience of and attunement to novel effects. What is so unique about these works is that they reenchant the scientific world without pandering to what Richard Dawkins will later term “cosmic sentimentality.” Carl Sagan may have said “We are made of starstuff,” but he would never insist, as Joni Mitchell did in 1969, that “we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden.” Instead, they insist on a third way that does not rely on the idea of an ecological Eden — a vigorously vital materialism in which the affective trumps the sentimental. Further, the historical emergence of these works, all published within 5 years of each other, was no accident: each book responded to an ever deepening sense of environmental crisis, certainly, but along with it they responded to, perhaps more than marginally related, narratives of the large-scale disenchantment brought on by modernity or science, and more often than not a mixture of the two. Greyson argues that the persistence of these works and their affectively-charged scientific concepts in contemporary popular culture and ecological thought is no accident. As such, these works deserve recognition as far more than “popular science” and can be seen as essential contributions to more contemporary vital materialist thought and ecological theory. No doubt this talk of enchantment and wonder, so tied to immediate experience, can seem trivial in the face of any number of environmental crises (global warming first among these) that do not just appear ominously on the horizon, but loom as never before. The first task of this book thus to pose the same question that Jane Bennett does at the end of her own work on enchantment: “How can someone write a book about enchantment in such a world?” Does this approach really provide, as Latour phrases it, “a way to bridge the distance between the scale of the phenomena we hear about and the tiny Umwelt inside which we witness, as if it were a fish inside its bowl, an ocean of catastrophes that are supposed to unfold”? Ultimately, Vital Reenchantments argues that affective ecologies, properly attended to, point toward an open present, one that broadens the horizons of the “fish bowl” and allows us to imagine engendering futures that are neither naively hopeful nor hopelessly apocalyptic.

Shifting Paradigms: Thomas S. Kuhn and the History of Science

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Book Series: Proceedings 8: Max Planck Research Library for the History and Development of Knowledge ISBN: 9783945561119 Year: Pages: 397 Language: English
Publisher: Edition Open Access
Added to DOAB on : 2017-03-07 12:55:38
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The publication of Thomas S. Kuhn’s "Structure of Scientific Revolutions" in 1962 stands for a turning point in the history and philosophy of science. The repercussions of this work have rearticulated the theoretical framework of history and philosophy of science and have also generated discussions that contributed to the formation of the communities of historians as well as philosophers of science in many parts of the world. Different approaches to history of science have since emerged and most of them have the "Structure" as their reference point. In October 2012, a conference at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science brought together some of the historians of science whose work has played a decisive role in the ways history of science has evolved as a field of research in the past 50 years, both intellectually and institutionally. This volume gathers reflections by many of these historians on the history of the history of science, based on the presentations and discussions at the conference. The topics covered range from personal recollections of working with Thomas Kuhn to broad overviews of the historical development of the history of science as a discipline in the past half-century. The series Proceedings of the Max Planck Research Library for the History and Development of Knowledge presents the results of scientific meetings on current issues and supports further cooperation on these issues via an electronic platform. The volumes are available both as print-on-demand books and as open-access publications on the Internet. The material is freely accessible online at www.edition-open-access.de.

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