Article on Physics and Philosophy

Article | First Things.

” As Hawking and Mlodinow occasionally seem to recognize, far from philosophy being dead, having been killed by science, the deepest arguments in this area are not scientific but philosophical. And if the philosophical reasoning runs in the direction I have suggested, it is not only philosophy but also natural theology that is alive and ready to bury its latest would-be undertakers. “


  1. While researching a paper on the role of language in the development of Quantum Mechanics, I’ve come upon your “The Limits of Language”. I also found an article from UW Physics on “Speakable and Unspeakable in Quantum Mechanics” (Winter 2004), on the cross-appointment of Arthur Fine (Philosophy) to the Physics faculty, which ends with the following paragraph:

    “Indeed, in a certain sense, the 20th century has transformed physics back to where and how it started: Natural Philosophy, contemplating, with a mixture of humility and exuberance, all the facets of Nature. For the ‘real physicists’ it is all too easy to be too absorbed in their professional, day-to-day, no-nonsense research to do much philosophizing (natural or not). For those who do find the time, it is not always easy to produce something publishable in the Physical Review. However, the rewards of even half-hearted attempts are very significant…”

    This leads me to wonder where physics would be in ten years if every university physics program began with a “Physics for Artists” course instead of the usual mechanics, etc.

    I’d be interested to hear of any readings you’ve come across that bear on my topic (other than J.S.Bell’s collection) and might illuminate, for example, Bohr’s and Heisenberg’s tussles over the terms “unsureness”, “inexactness”, “indeterminacy”, and ultimately (but correctly?) “uncertainty” to describe Heisenberg’s principle.

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