Download Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker: Major Texts in Philosophy by Michael Drieschner PDF

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By Michael Drieschner

This e-book offers a suite of texts by way of the German thinker and physicist Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker (1912-2007), to be used in seminars on philosophy, ordinarily epistemology and the philosophy of physics or foundations of quantum mechanics, but additionally for classes on German philosophy of the twentieth century or the philosophy of technology. so much texts look in English for the 1st time. Weizsäcker turned well-known via his works in physics, later changing into popular as a thinker and an analyst of latest tradition and politics. He labored intensively on initiatives for the prevention of nuclear struggle and for peace typically. – Texts approximately classical philosophy are integrated in addition to on common sense, at the philosophy of biology and at the philosophy of arithmetic, on “death” in addition to on “power”.

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Four hundred years later, in the seventeenth century, Aristotle had become the dogmatized preceptor of bygone times, and men turned, as they put it, away from written books, toward the book of nature itself. Since authorities remained important, it was Plato who, ignored at the height of the Middle Ages, now became the star witness. The Plato on whom the early Middle Ages, as well as late antiquity, had leaned, had above all been the mystical Plato. This was the Plato of the Neoplatonists, the Plato who described the soul’s ascent to the divine One.

This is one of the occasions that show us how much a child of his time the scientist is in naively believing that his hypotheses express the plausible, perhaps even the true. The mechanistic world view would certainly not have been considered plausible in the world of the highly developed Greek science. It would have appeared totally alien to the majority of Asiatic cultures. How can one possibly set aside the immediate realities of mind and soul and in their stead base everything on something as low, as crudely organized, and as fundamentally uncertain as the mechanical properties of things?

The weakness of this attempt at a definition lies, it seems to me, in its defensiveness, its acceptance of the ‘opponent’s’ terms. Physics served as the paradigm even when the paradigm’s sole function was to say why it should not be imitated. , certainly medicine. Physics is a central, a basic science. According to the philosophical hypothesis called ‘physicalism’, all natural events can be reduced to the laws of physics and may thus be viewed and understood as purely physical events; and there is no other science that could make such a claim.

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