Putting the Cart Before the Horse: Ernest Nagel and the Uncertainty Principle

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In The Structure of Science, Ernest Nagel finds fault with Werner Heisenberg’s explication of the uncertainty principle. Nagel’s complaint is that this principle does not follow from the impossibility of measuring with precision both the position and the momentum of a particle, as Heisenberg intimates, rather it is the other way around. Recent developments in theoretical physics have shown that Nagel’s argument is more substantial than he could have envisaged. In particular it has become clear that there are in fact two uncertainty principles; as a result, there are four pairs of quantities to examine, whereas Heisenberg considers only one. These findings throw new light on Nagel’s criticism. They enable us to see that his intuition was surprisingly apposite, but also make clear where his argument misses the mark.
Originele taal-2English
TitelErnest Nagel
SubtitelPhilosophy of Science and the Fight for Clarity
RedacteurenAdam Tuboly, Matthias Neuber
Plaats van productieCham
UitgeverijSpringer
Hoofdstuk7
Pagina's131-149
Aantal pagina's19
ISBN van elektronische versie978-3-030-81010-8
ISBN van geprinte versie978-3-030-81009-2
DOI's
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 22-sep-2021
EvenementErnest Nagel and the Making of Philosophy of Science as a Profession - Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Philosophy, Budapest, Hungary
Duur: 4-okt-20194-okt-2019

Publicatie series

NaamLogic, Epistemology and the Unity of Science
UitgeverijSpringer
Volume53

Workshop

WorkshopErnest Nagel and the Making of Philosophy of Science as a Profession
Land/RegioHungary
StadBudapest
Periode04/10/201904/10/2019

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