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Faraday to Einstein: Constructing Meaning in Scientific Theories

  • Authors
  • Nancy J. Nersessian

Part of the Science and Philosophy book series (SCPH, volume 1)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. The Philosophical Situation: A Critical Appraisal

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Nancy J. Nersessian
      Pages 3-4
    3. Nancy J. Nersessian
      Pages 5-12
    4. Nancy J. Nersessian
      Pages 13-29
  3. The Scientific Situation: An Historical Analysis

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 31-31
    2. Nancy J. Nersessian
      Pages 33-36
    3. Nancy J. Nersessian
      Pages 37-68
    4. Nancy J. Nersessian
      Pages 69-94
    5. Nancy J. Nersessian
      Pages 95-120
    6. Nancy J. Nersessian
      Pages 121-139
  4. The Making of Meaning: A Proposal

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 141-141
    2. Nancy J. Nersessian
      Pages 143-143
    3. Nancy J. Nersessian
      Pages 144-159
  5. Part IV

    1. Nancy J. Nersessian
      Pages 198-198
    2. Nancy J. Nersessian
      Pages 198-198
    3. Nancy J. Nersessian
      Pages 198-198
    4. Nancy J. Nersessian
      Pages 198-198
    5. Nancy J. Nersessian
      Pages 198-198
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 161-197

About this book

Introduction

Einstein often expressed the sentiment that "the eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility," and that science is the means through which we comprehend it. However, nearly every­ one - including scientists - agrees that the concepts of modem physics are quite incomprehensible: They are both unintelligible to the educated lay-person and to the scientific community itself, where there is much dispute over the interpretation of even (and especially) the most basic concepts. There is, of course, almost universal agreement that modem science quite adequately accounts for and predicts events, i. e. , that its calculations work better than those of classical physics; yet the concepts of science are supposed to be descriptive of 'the world' as well - they should enable us to comprehend it. So, it is asked, and needs tobe"asked: Has modem physics failed in an important respect? It failed with me as a physics student. I came to physics, as with most naIve students, out of a desire to know what the world is really like; in particular, to understand Einstein's conception of it. I thought I had grasped the concepts in classical mechanics, but with electrodynamics confusion set in and only increased with relativity and quantum mechanics. At that point I began even to doubt whether I had really understood the basic concepts of classical mechanics.

Keywords

Interpretation quantum mechanics science scientific practice

Bibliographic information

  • DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-009-6187-6
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1984
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-0-7923-0950-5
  • Online ISBN 978-94-009-6187-6
  • Series Print ISSN 0924-4697
  • Buy this book on publisher's site