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Philosophers

Mortimer Adler
Rogers Albritton
Alexander of Aphrodisias
Samuel Alexander
William Alston
Anaximander
G.E.M.Anscombe
Anselm
Louise Antony
Thomas Aquinas
Aristotle
David Armstrong
Harald Atmanspacher
Robert Audi
Augustine
J.L.Austin
A.J.Ayer
Alexander Bain
Mark Balaguer
Jeffrey Barrett
William Barrett
William Belsham
Henri Bergson
George Berkeley
Isaiah Berlin
Richard J. Bernstein
Bernard Berofsky
Robert Bishop
Max Black
Susanne Bobzien
Emil du Bois-Reymond
Hilary Bok
Laurence BonJour
George Boole
Émile Boutroux
F.H.Bradley
C.D.Broad
Michael Burke
Lawrence Cahoone
C.A.Campbell
Joseph Keim Campbell
Rudolf Carnap
Carneades
Ernst Cassirer
David Chalmers
Roderick Chisholm
Chrysippus
Cicero
Randolph Clarke
Samuel Clarke
Anthony Collins
Antonella Corradini
Diodorus Cronus
Jonathan Dancy
Donald Davidson
Mario De Caro
Democritus
Daniel Dennett
Jacques Derrida
René Descartes
Richard Double
Fred Dretske
John Dupré
John Earman
Laura Waddell Ekstrom
Epictetus
Epicurus
Herbert Feigl
Arthur Fine
John Martin Fischer
Frederic Fitch
Owen Flanagan
Luciano Floridi
Philippa Foot
Alfred Fouilleé
Harry Frankfurt
Richard L. Franklin
Michael Frede
Gottlob Frege
Peter Geach
Edmund Gettier
Carl Ginet
Alvin Goldman
Gorgias
Nicholas St. John Green
H.Paul Grice
Ian Hacking
Ishtiyaque Haji
Stuart Hampshire
W.F.R.Hardie
Sam Harris
William Hasker
R.M.Hare
Georg W.F. Hegel
Martin Heidegger
Heraclitus
R.E.Hobart
Thomas Hobbes
David Hodgson
Shadsworth Hodgson
Baron d'Holbach
Ted Honderich
Pamela Huby
David Hume
Ferenc Huoranszki
William James
Lord Kames
Robert Kane
Immanuel Kant
Tomis Kapitan
Walter Kaufmann
Jaegwon Kim
William King
Hilary Kornblith
Christine Korsgaard
Saul Kripke
Thomas Kuhn
Andrea Lavazza
Christoph Lehner
Keith Lehrer
Gottfried Leibniz
Jules Lequyer
Leucippus
Michael Levin
George Henry Lewes
C.I.Lewis
David Lewis
Peter Lipton
C. Lloyd Morgan
John Locke
Michael Lockwood
E. Jonathan Lowe
John R. Lucas
Lucretius
Alasdair MacIntyre
Ruth Barcan Marcus
James Martineau
Storrs McCall
Hugh McCann
Colin McGinn
Michael McKenna
Brian McLaughlin
John McTaggart
Paul E. Meehl
Uwe Meixner
Alfred Mele
Trenton Merricks
John Stuart Mill
Dickinson Miller
G.E.Moore
Thomas Nagel
Otto Neurath
Friedrich Nietzsche
John Norton
P.H.Nowell-Smith
Robert Nozick
William of Ockham
Timothy O'Connor
Parmenides
David F. Pears
Charles Sanders Peirce
Derk Pereboom
Steven Pinker
Plato
Karl Popper
Porphyry
Huw Price
H.A.Prichard
Protagoras
Hilary Putnam
Willard van Orman Quine
Frank Ramsey
Ayn Rand
Michael Rea
Thomas Reid
Charles Renouvier
Nicholas Rescher
C.W.Rietdijk
Richard Rorty
Josiah Royce
Bertrand Russell
Paul Russell
Gilbert Ryle
Jean-Paul Sartre
Kenneth Sayre
T.M.Scanlon
Moritz Schlick
Arthur Schopenhauer
John Searle
Wilfrid Sellars
Alan Sidelle
Ted Sider
Henry Sidgwick
Walter Sinnott-Armstrong
J.J.C.Smart
Saul Smilansky
Michael Smith
Baruch Spinoza
L. Susan Stebbing
Isabelle Stengers
George F. Stout
Galen Strawson
Peter Strawson
Eleonore Stump
Francisco Suárez
Richard Taylor
Kevin Timpe
Mark Twain
Peter Unger
Peter van Inwagen
Manuel Vargas
John Venn
Kadri Vihvelin
Voltaire
G.H. von Wright
David Foster Wallace
R. Jay Wallace
W.G.Ward
Ted Warfield
Roy Weatherford
C.F. von Weizsäcker
William Whewell
Alfred North Whitehead
David Widerker
David Wiggins
Bernard Williams
Timothy Williamson
Ludwig Wittgenstein
Susan Wolf

Scientists

Michael Arbib
Walter Baade
Bernard Baars
Jeffrey Bada
Leslie Ballentine
Gregory Bateson
John S. Bell
Mara Beller
Charles Bennett
Ludwig von Bertalanffy
Susan Blackmore
Margaret Boden
David Bohm
Niels Bohr
Ludwig Boltzmann
Emile Borel
Max Born
Satyendra Nath Bose
Walther Bothe
Hans Briegel
Leon Brillouin
Stephen Brush
Henry Thomas Buckle
S. H. Burbury
Donald Campbell
Anthony Cashmore
Eric Chaisson
Gregory Chaitin
Jean-Pierre Changeux
Arthur Holly Compton
John Conway
John Cramer
Francis Crick
E. P. Culverwell
Antonio Damasio
Olivier Darrigol
Charles Darwin
Richard Dawkins
Terrence Deacon
Lüder Deecke
Richard Dedekind
Louis de Broglie
Stanislas Dehaene
Max Delbrück
Abraham de Moivre
Paul Dirac
Hans Driesch
John Eccles
Arthur Stanley Eddington
Gerald Edelman
Paul Ehrenfest
Albert Einstein
Hugh Everett, III
Franz Exner
Richard Feynman
R. A. Fisher
David Foster
Joseph Fourier
Philipp Frank
Steven Frautschi
Edward Fredkin
Lila Gatlin
Michael Gazzaniga
GianCarlo Ghirardi
J. Willard Gibbs
Nicolas Gisin
Paul Glimcher
Thomas Gold
A. O. Gomes
Brian Goodwin
Joshua Greene
Jacques Hadamard
Mark Hadley
Patrick Haggard
J. B. S. Haldane
Stuart Hameroff
Augustin Hamon
Sam Harris
Hyman Hartman
John-Dylan Haynes
Donald Hebb
Martin Heisenberg
Werner Heisenberg
John Herschel
Art Hobson
Jesper Hoffmeyer
E. T. Jaynes
William Stanley Jevons
Roman Jakobson
Pascual Jordan
Ruth E. Kastner
Stuart Kauffman
Martin J. Klein
William R. Klemm
Christof Koch
Simon Kochen
Hans Kornhuber
Stephen Kosslyn
Ladislav Kovàč
Leopold Kronecker
Rolf Landauer
Alfred Landé
Pierre-Simon Laplace
David Layzer
Joseph LeDoux
Benjamin Libet
Seth Lloyd
Hendrik Lorentz
Josef Loschmidt
Ernst Mach
Donald MacKay
Henry Margenau
James Clerk Maxwell
Ernst Mayr
John McCarthy
Warren McCulloch
George Miller
Stanley Miller
Ulrich Mohrhoff
Jacques Monod
Emmy Noether
Alexander Oparin
Abraham Pais
Howard Pattee
Wolfgang Pauli
Massimo Pauri
Roger Penrose
Steven Pinker
Colin Pittendrigh
Max Planck
Susan Pockett
Henri Poincaré
Daniel Pollen
Ilya Prigogine
Hans Primas
Adolphe Quételet
Jürgen Renn
Juan Roederer
Jerome Rothstein
David Ruelle
Tilman Sauer
Jürgen Schmidhuber
Erwin Schrödinger
Aaron Schurger
Claude Shannon
David Shiang
Herbert Simon
Dean Keith Simonton
B. F. Skinner
Lee Smolin
Ray Solomonoff
Roger Sperry
John Stachel
Henry Stapp
Tom Stonier
Antoine Suarez
Leo Szilard
Max Tegmark
William Thomson (Kelvin)
Giulio Tononi
Peter Tse
Vlatko Vedral
Heinz von Foerster
John von Neumann
John B. Watson
Daniel Wegner
Steven Weinberg
Paul A. Weiss
John Wheeler
Wilhelm Wien
Norbert Wiener
Eugene Wigner
E. O. Wilson
Stephen Wolfram
H. Dieter Zeh
Ernst Zermelo
Wojciech Zurek
Konrad Zuse
Fritz Zwicky

Presentations

Biosemiotics
Free Will
Mental Causation
James Symposium
 
Don Howard
Don Howard studied for his Ph.D. under Abner Shimony at Boston University during the 1970's. This gave gave him a front-row seat for the development of John Bell's famous "inequality theorem," its first experimental tests, designed in part by Shimony, and the spectacular growth of entanglement as the "second revolution in physics."

Shortly after Howard earned his Ph.D., his BU colleague John Stachel became the first editor of the Einstein Papers Project and invited Howard to be an assistant editor on the critically important volume 2 writings from 1900 to 1909.

Howard has written several papers on the early development of quantum mechanics up through the 1935 paper on the so-called Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen Paradox.

In more than one of his papers, Howard explored the deep question of "nonseparability," distinguishing it from nonlocality. Most historians of physics trace this problem to the EPR paper itself, or at the earliest the 1927 Solvay Conference where Einstein did not present a paper but made some very insightful remarks and a profound diagram on the blackboard.

In 1984, Howard presented a paper, "Einstein on Locality and Separability," at the Boston Colloquium for the Philosophy of Science. Shimony chaired the session.

Howard noted the disregard for Einstein's work in the late 1920's and 30's, and he summarizes what Einstein was actually arguing, almost never appreciated by Einstein's colleagues...

too many physicists and philosophers have been inclined to dismiss Einstein's misgivings as being a result of the naive but forgivable failures of understanding of an old man still clinging to an outmoded, deterministic metaphysics...

Einstein called it his "Trennungsprinzip"
In brief, what Einstein argues is that the incompleteness of quantum mechanics follows from the conjunction of two assumptions. The first, which I call the 'separability principle', asserts that any two spatially separated systems possess their own separate real states. The second, the 'locality principle' asserts that all physical effects are propagated with finite, subluminal velocities, so that no effects can be communicated between systems separated by a space-like interval.
Howard further wrote...
the Bell experiments demonstrate not the existence of a peculiar kind of 'quantum non-locality', but instead the existence of quantum non-separability. And Einstein's analysis implies that therein lie the seeds of a conflict not with special-relativistic locality constraints, but with assumptions fundamental to general relativity and any other field theory. Given their importance in what follows, the separability and locality principles should be clearly distinguished. To repeat: separability says that spatially separated systems possess separate real states; locality adds that the state of a system can be changed only by local effects, effects propagated with finite, subluminal velocities. There is no necessary connection between the two principles, though they are frequently stated as if they were one.

In 1989, Howard wrote an article for the International School for History of Science meeting at Erice, Italy. It is what may be his most important contribution to Einstein Studies in general and the problem of nonseparability in particular.

It was boldly titled "NICHT SEIN KANN WAS NICHT SEIN DARF," OR THE PREHISTORY OF EPR, 1909-1935: EINSTEIN'S EARLY WORRIES ABOUT THE QUANTUM MECHANICS OF COMPOSITE SYSTEMS."

Howard describes Einstein's famous debates with Bohr and Einstein's well-known misgivings with quantum mechanics and writes

Why tell the story yet again? The answer is that there is more to be said. I will argue that the standard histories have overlooked what was from early on the principal reason for Einstein's reservations about quantum mechanics, namely, the non-separability of the quantum mechanical account of interactions, something ultimately unacceptable to Einstein because it could not be reconciled with the field-theoretic manner of describing interactions. Showing the significance of this issue for Einstein is important not only for the sake of setting right the historical record, but also because it makes Einstein's critique of quantum mechanics far more interesting—from the point of view of the physics involved—than if we see it resting merely on a stubborn old man's nostalgic attachment to classical determinism.

Howard added a footnote,"To my knowledge, [Arthur] Fine (1986) is the only author who has so far hinted at the importance of this worry in Einstein's thinking about quantum mechanics prior to 1935.

Howard summarizes the conflict with field theory...

The argument is simple. In a field theory, the fundamental ontology, the reality assumed by the theory, consists of the points of the space-time manifold and fundamental field structures, such as the metric and stressenergy tensors, assumed to be well defined at each point of the manifold. Implicitly, therefore, any field theory assumes (i) that each point of the manifold, and by extension any region of the manifold, possesses its own real state, say that represented by the metric tensor, and (ii) that all interactions are to be described in terms of changes in these separate real states, which is to say that joint states are exhaustively determined by combinations of the relevant separate states, just as the separability principle demands. If this is correct (and I think it is), and if the quantum mechanical account of interactions denies separability, then there can be no reconciliation of the two. Moreover, Einstein had not inconsiderable (if not ultimately compelling) arguments—methodological, epistemological, and metaphysical—for retaining both locality and separability, which helps to explain his dogged commitment to the field theory program as an alternative to quantum mechanics.

When Howard worked on the CPAE volume 2, he undoubtedly studied Einstein's 1905 paper on the light-quantum hypothesis carefully. He clearly sees Einstein worrying about these issues from his earliest paper on quantum mechanics. In his article for the 1997 Shimony Festschrift, Howard wrote the following.

the nonseparable manner in which quantum mechanics describes interacting systems..[is an]... aspect of the quantum had bothered Einstein since his own first paper on the quantum hypothesis in 1905, and from the time in 1925 when his work on Bose-Einstein statistics convinced him that it would be an unavoidable feature of any eventual quantum formalism.

Howard draws our attention to Einstein's 1905 description of his light quanta as "mutually independent" particles.

Already in this first paper on the light quantum hypothesis in 1905, Einstein realized that the full story of the quantum would involve some compromise with classical notions of particle independence. He remarked explicitly that the assumption that light quanta behave like independent particle-like carriers of electromagnetic energy would yield only the Wien end of the black-body spectrum. As to what kind of independence assumption we were making here, he was quite explicit. We are assuming, he said, that Boltzmann’s principle is valid for a collection of light quanta, meaning, as he again said explicitly, that the joint probability for two light quanta to occupy two specific cells of phase space factorizes as a product of the separate occupation probabilities

Einstein's 1905 paper is largely remembered as his explanation of the photoelectric effect. His Nobel Prize was specifically awarded for this work, not for his work on relativity. But the paper contains many more words on light quanta, and still more on the entropy of the radiation. In the three years before Einstein's "miracle year,' he derived the laws of statistical mechanics, mostly independent of Ludwig Boltzmann (whose work he did not fully know) and J. Willard Gibbs (whose work he did not know at all). Einstein found that the relation between entropy and probability depends on the statistical independence of non-interacting systems.

Einstein wrote...

If it is reasonable to speak of the probability of the state of a system, and furthermore if every entropy increase can be understood as a transition to a state of higher probability, then the entropy S1 of a system is a function of W1, the probability of its instantaneous state. If we have two noninteracting systems S1 and S2, we can write
S1 = φ1 (W1)
S2 = φ2 (W2)
If one considers these two systems as a single system of entropy S and probability W, it follows that
S = S1 + S1 = φ (W)
and
W = W1 · W2.

This gives us entropy as the additive (extensive) quantity that Rudof Clausius wanted, that J. Clerk Maxwell found by assuming the x, y, z components of molecular velocities are statistically independent (which of course they are not exactly, for high energies, since energy is finite), and that Boltzmann confirmed with his "principle," as Einstein called it, that the entropy S = k logW, where W is the number of possible distributions of particles in available phase space cells.

Howard is very insightful to focus on the "mutual independence" that grounds Einstein's deep belief in "Boltzmann's principle." Howard shows us that Einstein's greatest concern all his life was not the question of indeterminism and the uncertainty principle, but interactions between separated quantum particles.

We argue that Einstein also saw as early as 1905 the so-called "collapse of the wave function," twenty years before there was a Schrödinger wave function. If the light wave carries a substance, Einstein worried, how could it collect all that substance instantly into a light quantum to eject a particle in the photoelectric effect? Would it have to move faster than the light, violating his new principle of relativity?

Recently, Howard posted thirty-six issues of the extremely valuable "Epistemological Letters", a privately published newsletter that were circulated to about 180 of the most prominent physicists in the world between 1973 and 1984. It contained contributions to the foundations of physics inspired by the work of Bell, which in turn had been inspired by David Bohm's revival of Louis de Broglie's "pilot wave theory." It documents the beginning of the "Age of Entanglement."

References

"Einstein on Locality and Separability.” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 16, 171-201 (1985)

Nicht Sein Kann Was Nicht Sein Darf, or the Prehistory of EPR, 1909-1935: Einstein’s Early Worries about the Quantum Mechanics of Composite Systems.” In Sixty-Two Years of Uncertainty, ed. Arthur Miller. (1990)

Review of Arthur Fine's The Shaky Game Synthese Vol. 86, No. 1, pp. 123-141 (1991)

"Spacetime and Separability: Problems of Identity and Individuation in Fundamental Physics." in Potentiality, Entanglement and Passion-at-a-Distance: Quantum Mechanical Studies for Abner Shimony, Volume Two, pp.113-141. (1997)

Einstein: The Formative Years, 1879-1909. Springer Science & Business (2000)

"Who Invented the “Copenhagen Interpretation?” A Study in Mythology," in Philosophy of Science , Vol. 71, No. 5, pp. 669-682 (2004)

"Albert Einstein as a Philosopher of Science," Talk at the AAAS meeting, Washington, D.C. February 20, (2005)

"Albert Einstein as a Philosopher of Science,", Physics Today, 58(12), 34-40. (2005)

“Revisiting the Einstein-Bohr Dialogue.” Iyyun: The Jerusalem Philosophical Quarterly 56, 57-90. Special issue dedicated to the memory of Mara Beller. (2007)

Reduction and emergence in the physical sciences: some lessons from the particle physics and condensed matter debate (pp. 141-157). Oxford: Oxford University Press. (2007).

“Einstein and The Development of Twentieth-Century Philosophy of Science,” in The Cambridge Companion to Einstein, Janssen & Lehner. 2014, 354-376. (2014)

"Virtue in Cyberconflict," in The Ethics of Information Warfare, Springer (2014)

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