Heisenberg on Science, Language, and the Question of Objectivity
Keywords:Heisenberg, quantum theory, Bohr, complementarity, science, philosophy, objectivity, reality, language
Far from regarding physical science as a universal model of human knowledge, Werner Heisenberg relativized the scientificity of natural science, situating this domain of knowledge in a wide range of our modes of experiencing the world. In this paper, with a focus on his critical analysis of the notion of objectivity in quantum theory and other fields, I survey Heisenberg’s view of the world as divided into six distinct areas of reality, including – but not centered on – physical science. I also seek to show how this conception of the structure of reality, specifically of the relation between different areas of reality, is mediated by his mis- or reinterpretation of Bohr’s idea of complementarity.
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