“The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.”
–Alfred North Whitehead

Platonic Physics: In Dialogue with Wolfgang Smith

Here is my conversation, recorded yesterday, with Dr. Wolfgang Smith. His new book PHYSICS: A Science in Quest of an Ontology is available from many online bookstores.

We discussed a range of topics, including wholeness in physics and mathematics, Whitehead and Russell’s different interpretations of the failure of the Principia Mathematica project, the fallacy of bifurcation, a Platonic interpretation of quantum physics, and the compatibility (or lack thereof) between Whitehead’s later Philosophy of Organism and Wolfgang’s Platonic vision of a tripartite reality.

I let Wolfgang do most of the talking during our discussion, as I was eager to better understand his approach to resolving some long-standing confusions with regard to the ontology of quantum physics. I wish we’d had another hour just to discuss my final question concerning the spiritual meaning of history. I shared some of my concerns on this point with Ashton on a walk just following my interview with Wolfgang:

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