By Alexander Unzicker

In der Physik herrschen scheinbar goldene Zeiten. Raumsonden erforschen den Kosmos, Teilchenbeschleuniger den Urknall. Doch keine Disziplin treibt so seltsame Blüten: Spekulationen über Paralleluniversen etwa oder die String-Theorie, die mit Wissenschaft nicht mehr viel zu tun haben. Gleichzeitig sind grundlegende Fragen der Physik wie die nach der Masse noch immer unbeantwortet. Doch statt Lösungsansätze von Einstein oder Dirac aufzugreifen, verwendet guy lieber Milliarden auf die Suche nach neuen Teilchen und mutmaßt über verborgene Dimensionen. Alexander Unzicker liest der Physik die Leviten - und weist ihr den Weg aus dem Labyrinth, in dem sie sich verlaufen hat. Seine fundierte und packende examine beweist, dass die derzeitigen Theorien dem Kosmos mit seinen unendlichen Weiten nicht gerecht werden. "Unzicker ist ein naturwissenschaftlicher Ketzer. Und das meine ich als Kompliment!" Vince Ebert, Wissenschaftskabarettist

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In discussion of instrumentalism, the question of the existence of theoretical entities has played a major role. ’6 If this is to be an argument for semantic instrumentalism, the claim that theoretical terms do not refer will have to rest on a proof that they cannot refer on the grounds that they are devoid of meaning. We have already seen that this is an implausible move. It may, however, be based on the claim that we have no reason to think that theoretical entities exist. That is, we have inductive grounds for thinking that no entity postulated by any theory exists; in which case all theories are false.

The explanation of these mere changes lies in the external factors and not in the internal factors specified by a rational model. The notion of a rationalist model introduced in this chapter involves a host of contentious presuppositions and simplifying assumptions. In the course of the following chapters these will be exposed and evaluated. In the end that model as characterized will have to be jettisoned. However, it will be shown that none the less the appropriate perspective from which to view that scientific enterprise is, broadly speaking, a rationalist one.

Just how to characterize that method is a complex and controversial matter which will occupy us in Chapter IX. It will be seen that in this area rationalists such as Popper and Lakatos have much to learn from the perceptions of Kuhn and Feyerabend. Having answered the main challenges to rationalism I turn in the penultimate chapter to a discussion of rational explanation. The particular issue concerns the relation between rational explanation and sociological explanation. It turns out that the rationalist’s unduly simplistic conception of what it is to explain a transition in science erroneously leads him to assume that the proper province for sociology is exclusively the explanation of transitions that fail to fit his rational model.

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Auf dem Holzweg durchs Universum: Warum sich die Physik verlaufen hat by Alexander Unzicker


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