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Orthodox or Dissident? The Evolution of Bohm’s Ontological Reflections in the 1950s

Oldofredi, Andrea (2023) Orthodox or Dissident? The Evolution of Bohm’s Ontological Reflections in the 1950s. [Preprint]

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Abstract

David Bohm has often been considered unable to understand the meaning of the quantum revolution as well as its radical metaphysical implications. Similarly, his pilot-wave theory was negatively portrayed as an attempt to restore a classical and deterministic Weltanschauung. Against this background, the aim of this paper is twofold: in the first place, it will be argued that the accusations of dogmatism advanced by several eminent physicists contra Bohm show a biased understanding of his works. Referring to this, two case studies will be discussed: the Bohm-Pauli correspondence, and the difficult relationship between the former and Leon Rosenfeld, a fervent supporter of Bohr's philosophy of complementarity. These examples indicate that the opposition to the pilot-wave approach was for the most part not based on scientific grounds. In the second place, I will reconstruct and analyze the evolution of Bohm's philosophical reflections about ontology, scientific realism and pluralism studying private correspondences as well as his main works in the fifties culminated in the book "Causality and Chance in Modern Physics". Underlining the originality of Bohm's thoughts, it will be concluded that his perspective can be characterized as a form of internal realism.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Oldofredi, Andrea
Additional Information: Accepted for publication in The European Physical Journal H
Keywords: David Bohm; Wolfgang Pauli; Quantum mechanics; Infinitism; Local Realism
Subjects: General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Depositing User: Dr. Andrea Oldofredi
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2023 22:29
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2023 22:29
Item ID: 22616
Subjects: General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Date: 2 October 2023
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/22616

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