From physics to metaphysics
Metaphysics Physics Quantum theory Reality
Cambridge University Press 1995EISBN 9780511622847
The book is drawn from the Tarner lectures, delivered in Cambridge in 1993. It is concerned with the ultimate nature of reality, and how this is revealed by modern physical theories such as relativity and quantum theory. The objectivity and rationality of science are defended against the views of relativists and social constructionists. It is claimed that modern physics gives us a tentative and fallible, but nevertheless rational, approach to the nature of physical reality. The role of subjectivity in science is examined in the fields of relativity theory, statistical mechanics and quantum theory, and recent claims of an essential role for human consciousness in physics are rejected. Prospects for a 'Theory of Everything' are considered, and the related question of how to assess scientific progress is carefully examined.