Quantum Mechanics and Objectivity

A Study of the Physical Philosophy of Werner Heisenberg

  • Authors
  • Patrick A. Heelan

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XV
  2. Objectivity in Quantum Mechanics

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Patrick A. Heelan
      Pages 3-22
    3. Patrick A. Heelan
      Pages 23-43
    4. Patrick A. Heelan
      Pages 44-56
    5. Patrick A. Heelan
      Pages 81-111
    6. Patrick A. Heelan
      Pages 112-121
  3. Reality in Quantum Mechanics

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 123-123
    2. The Ontological Structure of Atomic Systems

      1. Patrick A. Heelan
        Pages 125-136
      2. Patrick A. Heelan
        Pages 137-155
      3. Patrick A. Heelan
        Pages 156-166
  4. The Structure of Physical Science

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 167-167
    2. Patrick A. Heelan
      Pages 169-179
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 180-212

About this book


Quantum mechanics has raised in an acute form three problems which go to the heart of man's relationship with nature through experimental science: (r) the public objectivity of science, that is, its value as a universal science for all investigators; (2) the empirical objectivity of scientific objects, that is, man's ability to construct a precise or causal spatio-temporal model of microscopic systems; and finally (3), the formal objectivity of science, that is, its value as an expression of what nature is independently of its being an object of human knowledge. These are three aspects of what is generally called the "crisis of objec­ tivity" or the "crisis of realism" in modern physics. This crisis is. studied in the light of Werner Heisenberg's work. Heisenberg was one of the architects of quantum mechanics, and we have chosen his writings as the principal source-material for this study. Among physicists of the microscopic domain, no one except perhaps Bohr has expressed himself so abundantly and so profoundly on the philosophy of science as Heisenberg. His writings, both technical and non-technical, show an awareness of the mysterious element in scientific knowledge, far from the facile positivism of Bohr and others of his contemporaries. The mystery of human knowledge and human SUbjectivity is for him an abiding source of wonder.


classical mechanics mechanics quantum mechanics quantum theory

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 1965
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-94-015-0300-6
  • Online ISBN 978-94-015-0831-5
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
Industry Sectors
IT & Software
Consumer Packaged Goods