A noted scientist illuminates the intertwined paths of philosophy and science from Plato to the present, and examines the transition from Newtonian classical mechanics to modern relativistic physics

12 thoughts on “Physics and Philosophy

  1. hometrainer-tests.de Customer hometrainer-tests.de Customer says:

    Very concise and easy to read

  2. Eleanora Eleanora says:

    great book, a classic

  3. A.Arkas A.Arkas says:

    This book is a marvelous and rigorous epistemological treatise on the actual nature of physics theories and in no way does it constitute a confusing and simplified popularization of modern physics.Sir James Jeans was a well known physicist whose name is in the famous classical formula for the black body radiation Rayleigh Jeans law , and his profound knowledge on both classical and modern physics both quantum mechanics and Theory of Special and General Relativity , is a guarantee of rigor and clarity in every chapter of the book.The actual purpose of the book is not so much the comparison between the methods of Physics and Philosophy but the illumination of the actual nature of the Physics theories through this comparison Methodologically is better to pinpoint the characteristics of something by comparing it with something that resembles it but it is not absolutely the same The differences between the methods of Philosophy and Physics render clearly the methods and the actual purpose of Physics.The writer begins with a concise exposition of what is Physics and Philosophy and continuous by presenting the great differences between the two main schools of epistemology, that of Rationalism and Empiricism He follows a very clever historical approach on the problem of the a priori knowledge, from the time of Descartes and Kant up to Sir Arthur Eddington, and by doing so he exposes the fallacy and internal controversy of every attempt to construct a Pure Science of Nature based on purely a priori knowledge as Kant dreamed Having done that analysis on the evolution of arguments of Rationalism, the empirical methods of science are readily justified.Following this exposition there is a direct comparison between the method of Physics and Philosophy which unveil the errors of Philosophy which have kept her in arid paths of vicious cycle reasoning This chapter is very essential because since Philosophy is used by scientists in order to interpret their theories, which are mathematical in nature, some of these errors have unconsciously perplexed the epistemological approach oh physicists to their own science A characteristic historical example of such a mishap was the confusion of the early quantum theory prior to the Copenhagen Interpretation from Bohr, Born and Heisenberg at 1925.The rest three chapters present the profound changes imposed on Philosophy and Epistemology by the new findings of modern physics.The closure of the book is done with a chapter devoted to Ontology Idealism versus Realism and the monumental problem of free will All the previous epistemological investigation is used in an effort to give some answers on the objectivity of reality because Ontology and Epistemology are inextricably connected.One of the most interesting parts of the books is the analysis on the problem of free will, in contradiction to the deterministic aspects of human scale physics laws, which is done with a surprisingly new way which shows that the question of free will is essentially empty of meaning and thus it s needless to ponder on its relation with the deterministic or random nature of objective reality.The greatest gift which was given to me by this book was the bold realization of the great difference between the layer of phenomena and that of objective reality which produces the phenomena This realization accompanied by the understanding of what we mean by interpretation of a theory, renders clear the epistemological fact why we will never be able to break the barrier between the phenomena and understand the objective reality underneath them This quantum leap of thought is what we call Metaphysics.I fully recommend this extremely interesting and fun reading book which can truly change or substantially enhance the way one understands what actually Physics is It should be also noted this is not a popularized book for the layman but its full depth can only be understood by a physicist with university level knowledge of classical and modern physics.

  4. A. V. Thomas A. V. Thomas says:

    It is a remarkable book by one of the greatest scientists.A good experience.

  5. Indranil Basu Indranil Basu says:

    Gives a new perspective on Philosophy

  6. hometrainer-tests.de Customer hometrainer-tests.de Customer says:

    It is very humbling to realize this book was written before I was born.I so wish I had read this book when I was in my 20 s, when I first heard his amazing The universe begins to look like a great thought than like a great machine Brilliant thinker, giving us a gift.

  7. Michael McClennen Michael McClennen says:

    This book is as timely now as when it was first published in 1944 It presents a brilliant summary of what modern physics does and does not say about the nature of the universe in which we exist, in the context of the historical development of physics and the corresponding developments in philosophy Even better, it is written using language that is accessible to anyone, whether or not they have a background in science It does not contain any mathematics, and no mathematical background is required in order to understand it.I wish I had read this book 20 years ago it would have given focus to my ponderings about the nature of reality, time and mind.

  8. Paul Brandon Rimmer Paul Brandon Rimmer says:

    Although it is a bit dated now, and suffers from Jeans s personal rivalry with Eddington, the book must we well rated, since it is the only introduction on physics and philosophy that I know of which is understandable to someone who is neither a physicist nor a philosopher.

  9. Roderick W. Wilson Roderick W. Wilson says:

    Classic book by a great physicist I am looking forward to reading it again Not just for a physicist He will make you think how science has effected philosophy.

  10. irwin m. pikus irwin m. pikus says:

    Sir James jeans was an extraordinary scientist and educator His philosophical discussions are well worth reading However, they focus on struggles that were central in an earlier time.

  11. George Edel George Edel says:


  12. Seymour Leven. M.D. Seymour Leven. M.D. says:

    A book necessary for everyone, who quests vigorously ,to study One finds roots to rudiments in this dense, authoratative, but readable text.