Continental Philosophy | Philosophy | Philosophy of Science | Physics | Quantum Physics


In this chapter Heelan discusses how Heisenberg's insight of 1925, that physics should concern itself henceforth only with relations between observables, changed the intentionality-structure of physics. This insight led Heisenberg to the construction of a quantum mechanics of observables. Heelan briefly discusses the significance of his insighand of his rejection of Schrödinger's wave mechanics; the novelty of quantum mechanics as a physical theory, and the meaning he attributed to its most surprising result, viz., the Indeterminacy Relations. The crisis was a crisis of the rationalism inherent in the outlook of classical physics, and Heisenberg's insistence on "observable quantities" was a return to the individual and empirical manifestations of reality which as such, to our way of knowing, are penetrated with a certain random quality.