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Post-Classical Physical Ontology

Daniel R. Athearn
Year: 2002 Pages: 3

In a series of written works, three of which have so far been published, I have been investigating a question which I will formulate here as follows: Suppose for the sake of argument that the concept of physical reality employed in the classical era of physics has met its complete and irretrievable demise. Does this necessarily mean that ?natural philosophy? - in the sense practiced, for example, by Michael Faraday and James Clerk Maxwell - is also permanently at an end? By \"natural philosophy? I mean primarily the endeavor toward genuine physical/causal explanations in verbal language for fundamental physical phenomena such as force fields and light, an endeavor that was passionately advocated and defended by these two scientists. The answer to this question at which I have consistently arrived, is that ?natural philosophy? in this allegedly antiquated sense does not in fact live or die with the classical conception of nature as being absolutely mechanistic and deterministic. This clear and consistent finding of mine is quite at odds, at least in effect, with long-standard views.

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