Microcosmology: Atom In Jain Philosophy & Modern Science ► 01 ► [1.4.2.1] Atom in Modern Science - Unification of Physics and Philosophy - Towards Philosophy - Limitation of Knowledge

Posted: 08.07.2007

In 1927, the most famous group of international physicists in history decided that it might never be possible to explain all aspects of physical reality. Since then a tidal wave of knowledge has swept over us for more than half-a-century.

Recently, a small group of physicists found it necessary to acknowledge that it might not be possible to construct a model of physical reality. This acknowledgement is a recognition emerging throughout the west that knowledge itself is limited. In other words, it is recognition of the difference between knowledge and wisdom. In fact most physicists today side with Bohr rather than with Einstein, on the question of the utility of seeking a model of a physical reality, that can be conceived of independently of our experience of it. Effort to understand the quantum theory more deeply is not productive for science but leads to perplexity, which appears to most physicists to be more philosophical than physical.

To summarize, classical science had concerned itself with how separate parts, which together constitute physical reality are related. Newton's great work showed that the same laws as falling apples govern the earth, the moon, and the planets. The most fundamental difference between Newtonian physics and quantum mechanics is the fact that the latter is based upon observations (measurements). It constitutes a philosophy of science, unlike any before it. Bohr's principle of complementarities addresses the underline relation of physics to consciousness. Likewise, Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle demonstrates that we cannot observe a phenomenon without changing it.

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