Appearance and Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Physics

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9780195115154: Appearance and Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Physics
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Appearance and Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Physics addresses quantum mechanics and relativity and their philosophical implications, focusing on whether these theories of modern physics can help us know nature as it really is, or only as it appears to us. The author clearly explains the foundational concepts and principles of both quantum mechanics and relativity and then uses them to argue that we can know more than mere appearances, and that we can know to some extent the way things really are. He argues that modern physics gives us reason to believe that we can know some things about the objective, real world, but he also acknowledges that we cannot know everything, which results in a position he calls "realistic realism." This book is not a survey of possible philosophical interpretations of modern physics, nor does it leap from a caricature of the physics to some wildly alarming metaphysics. Instead, it is careful with the physics and true to the evidence in arriving at its own realistic conclusions. It presents the physics without mathematics, and makes extensive use of diagrams and analogies to explain important ideas. Engaging and accessible, Appearance and Reality serves as an ideal introduction for anyone interested in the intersection of philosophy and physics, including students in philosophy of physics and philosophy of science courses.

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About the Author:


Peter Kosso is Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Northern Arizona University. He is the author of Reading the Book of Nature (1992) and Observability and Observation in Physical Science (1989).

Review:

"Superb--simply written, accessibile, yet accurate and even thorough. Can take students with no special knowledge all the way to the philosophically relevant portions of relativity and quantum mechanics."--Michael Levin, City College of New York

"Clear and engaging. Probably one of the few books in which quantum mechanics is explained in a manner non-science students find interesting."--Prakash Chenjeri, Southern Oregon University

"A well-explained and accessible text on philosophy of physics for non-science-major undergraduates. Appearance and Reality is an excellent introduction to the mysteries of quantum theory and relativity."--Robert Brosnan, ndiana University

"Contains some very good material on the philosophy of physics, and also possesses some good stuff on the theory of relativity. Should be quite useful for a philosophy of science course."--Stephen Joseph, Framingham State College

"A fine book. It is clear, accurate, and interesting."--David Detmer, Purdue University-Calumet

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