Modern Science and Its Philosophy

Philipp Frank

CONTENTS

introduction - historical background 1

1. experience and the law of causality 53

2. the importance for our times of Ernst Mach's philosophy of science 61

3. Ernst Mach and the unity of science 79

4. physical theories of the twentieth century and school philosophy 90

5. is there a trend today toward idealism in physics? 122

6. mechanical "explanation" or mathematical description? 138

7. modern physics and common sense 144

8. philosophic misinterpretations of the quantum theory 158

9. determinism and indeterminism in modern physics 172

10. how idealists and materialists view modern physics 186

11. logical empiricism and the philosophy of the Soviet Union 198

12. why do scientists and philosophers so often disagree about the merits of a new theory? 207

13. the philosophic meaning of the Copernican revolution 216

14. the place of the philosophy of science in the curriculum of the physics student 228

15. science teaching and the humanities 260

16. the place of logic and metaphysics in the advancement of modern science 286

bibliographical note 303

index 304


BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

The essays in this volume have appeared in the following journals:

1. "Kausalgesetz und Erfahrung," Ostwald's Annalen der Naturphilosophie 6, 443 (Leipzig, 1907).

2. "Die Bedeutung der physikalischen Erkenntnistheorie Machs für das Geistesleben der Gegenwart," Naturwissenschaften 5, 65 (Berlin, 1917).

3. "Ernst Mach—the centenary of his birth," Erkenntnis 7, 247 (The Hague, 1938).

4. "Was bedeuten die gegenwärtigen physikalischen Theorien für die allgemeine Erkenntnislehre?" Erkenntsis 1, 126 (Leipzig, 1930).

5. "La physique contemporaine manifeste‑t‑elle une tendence à réintégrer un élément psychique?" Revue de synthèse 8, 133 (Paris, 1934).

6 and 10. "The mechanical versus the mathematical conception of nature," Philosophy of Science 4, 41 (1937).

7. “Modern physics and common sense," Scripta Mathematica 6, No. 1 (1939).

8. "Die philosophischen Missdeutungen der Quantentheorie," Erkenntnis (Leipzig, 1936).

9. "Bemerkungen zu E. Cassirer: Determinismus und Indeterminismus in der modernen Physik," Theoria 4, 70 (Göteborg, 1938).

11. "Logisierender Empirismus in der Philosophie der U.S.S.R.," Actes du Congrès International de Philosophie Scientifique (Paris, 1936).

12. "Why do scientists and philosophers so often disagree about the merits of a new theory?" Reviews of Modem Physics 13, 171 (1941).

13. "The philosophical meaning of the Copernican revolution," Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 87, 381 (1944).

14. "The place of the philosophy of science in the curriculum of the physics student," American Journal of Physics 15, 202 (1947).

15. "Science teaching and the humanities," Etc.: A Review of General Semantics 4, 3 (1946).

16. "The place of logic and metaphysics in the advancement of modern science," Philosophy of Science 15, 275 (1947).

Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, and 11 also appeared in Between Physics and Philosophy (Harvard University Press, 1941).


SOURCE: Frank, Philipp. Modern Science and Its Philosophy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1949. Reprint: New York: George Braziller, 1955.


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