Introduction to Volumes I and II

  • Henry Mehlberg
  • Robert S. Cohen
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 19-1)


There is no point in apologizing for the size of my work, nor even for the length of the introductory chapter. A most enlightened thinker of the Age of Enlightenment once stated that his volume would become much longer if he tried to make it somewhat shorter. This illustrious comment also applies to my work, although no ‘enlightening’ claims can be made for it. The tripartite title Time, Causality, and the Quantum Theory’ is meant to convey the order of priorities in the ensuing discussions: the central topic is the problem of time. The issue of causality will be explored in much detail in order to justify my principal conclusion referring to the causal nature of time, and it will also be imperative to explore the many quantum theories, which originated in 1900 with Max Planck’s discovery of the quantum of ‘action’ (i.e., the product of energy and time) involved in any physical process. Planck generated a never-ending sequence of quantal theories which, at a later time, have transcended the scope of physics proper and invaded both chemistry and biology. The decisive relevance of this set of theories to my causal approach to time is due to the fact that they both modify the meaning of the Principle of Causality and shed new light on many aspects of the issue of time, in addition to its causal nature.


Physical Science Physical Theory Lorentz Group Deductive System Axiomatic System 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henry Mehlberg
  • Robert S. Cohen
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Philosophy and History of ScienceBoston UniversityUSA

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