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Causality and Chance in Modern Physics

Customer Reviews:

A good introduction to a deep thinker.

By Frank Bierbrauer - January 15, 2002

In this, David Bohm's first book looking at the conceptual foundations of modern physics he writes in a fast paced energetic way which, although quite analytical and interesting, lacks the warmth to be found in his later books.His aim is to investigate the concepts of cause and chance and their applicability in physics. Bohm considers the ideas of causality in terms of relationshipos between "things" both as one-to-many and many-to-one types, then considers how contingency, chance and probablity are present in natural law. Then, starting from the ideas of classical mechanistic physics and the changes which occurred over several hundred years in the way that the philosophy of mechanism both, took hold, 17th and 18th centuries, and significantly changed, 19th century he considers the longevity of this philosophy even after changes in it which would normally entertain a new outlook: classical particle mechanics->wave theory->fields. All of these new developments... read more

David Bohm and philosophy of physics

By A Customer - August 17, 2000

This book is a bold and original investigation of the philosophical foundations of physical science. David Bohm, as a superb physicist with a major textbook on quantum mechanics, is qualified for what he undertakes to do in this book. The book is devoted partly to a detailed exposition of "mechanical philosophy". Bohm describes in detail the sources and implications of this philosophy as it appears in classical mechanics, statistical physics, and quantum mechanics. Bohm argues that mechanical philosophy is not a necessary consequence of the formalism or of the well-known success of these theories. It is one possible, albeit widespread, interpretation. According to Bohm, the mechanical philosophy is a result of assuming the validity of a scientific theory in all possible situations and contexts. Bohm shows how other more reasonable interpretations of specific theories can be developed. Bohm's own interpretation involves various levels, described by qualitatively... read more

Required Reading for Physics Students!

By T. Gwinn - April 19, 2002

I consider this book a gem.The forthright explanations of mechanistic systems, both deterministic and indeterministic, will help to awaken any student of physics as to the degree to which their world-view may not be as broad as they had imagined.The concerns raised about quantum mechanics are not trivial or extreme. And they are raised with deliberation and humility. Likewise, so are Bohm's suggested solutions.Finally, and most importantly I think, the argument for a world-view of physics that presumes - as the most scientifically (investigationally speaking) useful view to take - that the universe is comprised of an infinite number of levels of depth and complexity. Perhaps there are not an infinite number of levels of reality, but to presuppose there is opens the mind to want to investigate what they might be. Thus, supposing that QM defines and "explains" the 'bottom' of reality is first, not a logically strong position (just as Brownian motion formulas do not... read more

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