Autonomy and quantum physics: Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Heisenberg

Philosophy of Science 57 (4):619-630 (1990)


The literary and poetic turn in philosophy exudes contempt for science and hostility against technology, both allegedly justified on grounds established by Nietzsche and Heidegger. I try to show that these grounds instead call for an extremely positive assessment of science and technology. It turns out that what Nietzsche and Heidegger describe as our highest achievement, namely, human autonomy, is really made possible by modern experimental physics. And I show how this assessment is borne out by what Heisenberg describes as the lesson of quantum physics

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