: Although Dirac rarely participated in the interpretational debates over quantum theory, it is traditionally assumed that his views were aligned with Heisenberg and Bohr in the so-called Copenhagen-Göttingen camp. However, an unpublished—and apparently unknown—lecture of Dirac's reveals that this view is mistaken; in the famous debate between Einstein and Bohr, Dirac sided with Einstein. Surprisingly, Dirac believed that quantum mechanics was not complete, that the uncertainty principle would not survive in the future physics, and that (...) a deterministic description of the microworld would be recovered. In this paper I show how we can make sense of this unpublished lecture in the context of Dirac's broader philosophy of quantum mechanics, and how our present understanding of Dirac's philosophical views must be revised. (shrink)
I prefer to put this in a letter to you instead of writing an article that would lead one to believe that I have any authority to speak on the subject of what has, in a roundabout way, become the H. and H. affair . In other words, a cause of extreme seriousness, already discussed many times although certainly endless in nature, has been taken up by a storm of media attention, which has brought us to the lowest of passions, (...) intense emotions, and even violence. I understand why people are talking about Victor Farias, who has contributed some unpublished information—with a polemical intent, it is true, that does not help one to appreciate its true value. But how has it happened that Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe’s book, published in 1987, was greeted by a silence that I am perhaps the first to break?1 It is because he avoids anecdotal accounts, all the while citing and situating most of the facts mentioned by Farias. He is severe and rigorous. He lays essential questions before us. 1. Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, La Fiction du politique: Heidegger, l’art et la politique . I also cite Lacoue-Labarthe’s book, La Poésie comme experience , devoted to Paul Celan. Maurice Blanchot, one of France’s preeminent writers, has written, among many other books, The Last Man, Death Sentence, The Madness of the Day, and The Gaze of Orpheus and Other Literary Essays. Paula Wissing, a free-lance translator and editor, has recently translated Paul Veyne’s Did the Greeks Believe in Their Myths? (shrink)
Medievalia et Humanistica, No. 29 contains six original articles exploring topics ranging from an analysis of the letters of Gregory the Great to a study of a manual for confessors composed around 1400. In addition to the articles, eighteen review notices examine recent publications in medieval and early modern studies.
Since its founding in 1943, Medievalia et Humanistica has won worldwide recognition as the first scholarly publication in America to devote itself entirely to medieval and Renaissance studies. Since 1970, a new series, sponsored by the Modern Language Association of America and edited by an international board of distinguished scholars and critics, has published interdisciplinary articles. In yearly hardbound volumes, the new series publishes significant scholarship, criticism, and reviews treating all facets of medieval and Renaissance culture: history, art, literature, music, (...) science, law, economics, and philosophy. (shrink)
In his [1937, 1938], PaulDirac proposed his “Large Number Hypothesis” (LNH), as a speculative law, based upon what we will call the “Large Number Coincidences” (LNC’s), which are essentially “coincidences” in the ratios of about six large dimensionless numbers in physics. Dirac’s LNH postulates that these numerical coincidences reflect a deeper set of law-like relations, pointing to a revolutionary theory of cosmology. This led to substantial work, including the development of Dirac’s later [1969/74] cosmology, and (...) other alternative cosmologies, such as the Brans-Dicke modification of GTR, and to extensive empirical tests. We may refer to the generic hypothesis of “Large Number Relations” (LNR’s), as the proposal that there are lawlike relations of some kind between the dimensionless numbers, not necessarily those proposed in Dirac’s early LNH. Such relations would have a profound effect on our concepts of physics, but they remain shrouded in mystery. Although Dirac’s specific proposals for LNR theories have been largely rejected, the subject retains interest, especially among cosmologists seeking to test possible variations in fundamental constants, and to explain dark energy or the cosmological constant. In the first two sections here we briefly summarize the basic concepts of LNR’s. We then introduce an alternative LNR theory, using a systematic formalism to express variable transformations between conventional measurement variables and the true variables of the theory. We demonstrate some consistency results and review the evidence for changes in the gravitational constant G. The theory adopted in the strongest tests of Ġ/G, by the Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR) experiments, assumes: Ġ/G = 3(dr/dt)/r – 2(dP/dt)/P – (dm/dt)/m, as a fundamental relationship. Experimental measurements show the RHS to be close to zero, so it is inferred that significant changes in G are ruled out. However when the relation is derived in our alternative theory it gives: Ġ/G = 3(dr/dt)/r – 2(dP/dt)/P – (dm/dt)/m – (dR/dt)/R. The extra final term (which is the Hubble constant) is not taken into account in conventional derivations. This means the LLR experiments are consistent with our LNR theory (and others), and they do not really test for a changing value of G at all. This failure to transform predictions of LNR theories correctly is a serious conceptual flaw in current experiment and theory. (shrink)
"Phenomenology or Deconstruction? challenges traditional understandings of the relationship between phenomenology and deconstruction through new readings of the work of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Paul Ricoeur and Jean-Luc Nancy. A constant dialogue with Jacques Derrida's engagement with phenomenological themes provides the impetus to establishing a new understanding of 'being' and 'presence' that exposes significant blindspots inherent in traditional readings of both phenomenology and deconstruction." "This new reading of being and presence fundamentally re-draws our understanding of the relation of deconstruction and (...) phenomenology, and provides the first sustained discussion of the possibilities and problems for any future 'deconstructive phenomenology.'" --Book Jacket. (shrink)