The Foundations of Physics

David Albert

in The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Philosophy

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9780199234769
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:


The Foundations of Physics

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The busiest, most productive, and most conspicuous topic at the foundations of physics over the past few decades has been the quantum-mechanical measurement problem, and the enterprise of trying to fix that problem up has opened a wide and distinctive new avenue into nature, which exuberantly resists classification as either science or philosophy, and which has important implications for a whole slew of other questions — both within the traditional concerns of the philosophy of physics and elsewhere as well. That is what this article mainly proposes to be about. The article starts at the centre — with the measurement problem itself — and then branches out into some other stuff about the foundations of statistical mechanics, and about the theory of relativity.

Keywords: foundations of physics; quantum-mechanical measurement; measurement problem; statistical mechanics; theory of relativity; modal theories

Article.  17179 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Philosophy of Science

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