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The Quest for Reality: Bohr and Wittgenstein - two complementary views by Stig (Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, Sweden) Stenholm

The Quest for Reality: Bohr and Wittgenstein - two complementary views

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The Quest for Reality: Bohr and Wittgenstein - two complementary views by Stig (Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, Sweden) Stenholm

In both science and philosophy, the twentieth century saw a radical breakdown of certainty in the human worldview, as quantum uncertainty and linguistic ambiguity destroyed the comfortable certitudes of the past. As these disciplines form the foundation for a human position in the world, a major epistemological reorganization had to take place. In this book, quantum theorist Stig Stenholm presents Bohr and Wittgenstein, in physics and in philosophy, as central figures representing this revision. Each of them took up the challenge of replacing apparent order and certainty with a provisional understanding based on limited concepts in constant flux. Stenholm concludes that the modern synthesis created by their heirs is far from satisfactory, and the story is so far an unfinished one. The book will appeal to any researcher in either discipline curious about the foundation of modern science, and works to provoke a renewal of discussion and the eventual emergence of a reformed clarity and understanding.


Stenholm, a theoretical physicist specialising in quantum optics, has a wide understanding of many of the philosophical issues that lie at the heart of the debate that surrounds the foundations of quantum theory. * Basil Hiley, Birkbeck College, University of London * This is really an unique book which should be read by everyone who is interested in the foundations of modern physics from a philosophical point of view or anyone who is working in the modern fields of quantum optics and quantum information. * Anton Zeilinger, University of Vienna *

About the Author

Stig Stenholm has carried out distinguished work in quantum optics for 40 years, holding professorships and research positions at the universities of Stuttgart and Helsinki, at IBM Research Laboratory, San Jose, California, and at the Optical Sciences Center, Tucson, Arizona, before his retirement from KTH Stockholm in 2004. He has received the Alexander von Humboldt Award, Germany, and The Homen Prize in Physics from the Societas Scientiarum Fennica.

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Book Info

Publication date

12th March 2015


Stig (Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, Sweden) Stenholm

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Oxford University Press


240 pages


Philosophy of science
Quantum physics (quantum mechanics & quantum field theory)
Western philosophy, from c 1900 -
Philosophy: epistemology & theory of knowledge



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