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Appearance and Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Physics

by Peter Kosso

Buy the book: Peter Kosso. Appearance and Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Physics

Release Date: August, 1997

Edition: Paperback


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Buy the book: Peter Kosso. Appearance and Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Physics

Excellent in its intended capacity as introduction...

I would imagine that the factor pivotal to appreciation of this book is the reader's stage of understanding of the issues discussed within this book.

Particulaly impressive was the conciseness and clearness of the explanations of both relativity and quantum mechanics, two subjects that I would imagine can be notoriously difficult to deal with when ill explained. Aside from aformentioned technicalities regarding quantum physics, perhaps the author could may have spent more time considering the epistemological issue of the very validity of, in particurlar relativity, the 'foundations of modern physics discussed'. They seemed briefly considered, yet tossed aside it seems due to the author's attitude that the apparent current non-existence of what may eventually supercede the areas of physics in question. So, basically, the book was themed upon evaluating reality using the best tools we have at this moment to evaluate what constitutes it.

None the less, as an indication of the perspective physics can provide as to the very nature of reality and existence, this book can be invaluable.

From Amazon.com

very good up to page 140 then thumbs down

Good overview of the special and general theory of relativity as well as quantum mechanics. No equations are used and the author is able to demonstrate these ideas very well.

However the author bias becomes very clear as he explains Bell's theorem . The author points out that no local hidden variable theory can explain the results presented by quantum mechanics. He seems to miss the point that quantum mechanics is NONLOCAL with or without hidden variables . He clearly is in the copenhagen camp but stresses that popular publications on the subject are incorrect in concluding that everything is indeterminate, after all, things such as mass,charge etc. are determinate.

The author seems to accept "in stride" the nonlocality in the copenhagen interpetation and then uses nonlocality as the biggest argument against the deBroglie-Bohm pilot wave interpetation stating that it is a "blatant" violation of the special theory of relativity. Apparently the instant collapse of the second wave function when the first is measured in EPR is more realistic in his view. He then corrects himself and states that it is really not a violation of the special theory "empirically".

These kind of inconsistencies and contradictions are rampant after page 140. In the end the best critisism the author could level at the Bohm interpetation is that it is "epistimological anti realism"

In summary his philosophical position of "realistic realism" ends up being that schrodinger's cat maybe both dead and alive but we know that it weighs ten pounds.

From Amazon.com

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