Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Hermann’s Background

  3. Hermann on Quantum Mechanics

  4. Discussions at the Hermann Workshop

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 171-171
    2. Dieter Krohn, Rene Saran, Fernando Leal
      Pages 173-196
    3. Elise Crull, Guido Bacciagaluppi
      Pages 197-218
  5. Translations

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 219-219
    2. Grete Hermann
      Pages 223-237
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 279-281

About this book


This volume brings together recent scholarly contributions on Hermann by physicists, historians and philosophers of science, and philosophers and educators following in Hermann’s steps. Also included are translations of Hermann’s two most important essays, in the foundations of physics and in ethics. The former is here translated into English for the first time. Those interested in the many fields Hermann contributed to will find here a comprehensive discussion of her philosophy of physics that places it in the context of her wider work. Grete Hermann (1901-1984) was a pupil of mathematical physicist Emmy Noether, follower and co-worker of neo-Kantian philosopher Leonard Nelson, and an important intellectual figure in post-war German social democracy. She is also known for her work on the philosophy of modern physics in the 1930s, some of which emerged from intense discussions with Heisenberg and Weizsäcker in Leipzig. Hermann’s avowed aim was to counter the perceived threat to the Kantian notion of causality stemming from the new quantum mechanics. She not only succeeded to her satisfaction, but also discussed in depth the question of ‘hidden variables’ (including the first critique of von Neumann’s alleged impossibility proof) and provided an extensive analysis of Bohr’s notion of complementarity. Her work places her in the first rank among philosophers who wrote about modern physics in the first half of the last century.


Causality in quantum mechanics Complementarity Grete Henry-Hermann Heisenberg microscope Jakob Friedrich Fries Leonard Nelson

Editors and affiliations

  • Elise Crull
    • 1
  • Guido Bacciagaluppi
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyThe City University of New YorkNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Descartes Centre for the History and Philosophy of the Sciences and the HumanitiesUniversiteit UtrechtUtrechtThe Netherlands

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2016
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages History History (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-94-024-0968-0
  • Online ISBN 978-94-024-0970-3
  • Series Print ISSN 0929-6425
  • Series Online ISSN 2215-1958
  • Buy this book on publisher's site