Show Less
Restricted access

The Observable

Heisenberg’s Philosophy of Quantum Mechanics


Patrick Aidan Heelan

Edited By Babette Babich

Patrick Aidan Heelan’s The Observable offers the reader a completely articulated development of his 1965 philosophy of quantum physics, Quantum Mechanics and Objectivity. In this previously unpublished study dating back more than a half a century, Heelan brings his background as both a physicist and a philosopher to his reflections on Werner Heisenberg’s physical philosophy. Including considerably broader connections to the contributions of Niels Bohr, Wolfgang Pauli, and Albert Einstein, this study also reflects Heelan’s experience in Eugene Wigner’s laboratory at Princeton along with his reflections on working with Erwin Schrödinger dating from Heelan’s years at the Institute for Advanced Cosmology in Dublin.
A contribution to continental philosophy of science, the phenomenological and hermeneutic resources applied in this book to the physical and ontological paradoxes of quantum physics, especially in connection with laboratory science and measurement, theory and model making, will enrich students of the history of science as well as those interested in different approaches to the historiography of science. University courses in the philosophy of physics will find this book indispensable as a resource and invaluable for courses in the history of science.
Show Summary Details
Restricted access



Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Heelan, Patrick A., author.

The observable: Heisenberg’s philosophy of quantum mechanics / Patrick Aidan Heelan; edited with a foreword by Babette Babich; foreword by Michel Bitbol. pages cm — (History and philosophy of science: heresy, crossroads, and intersections; 1) Includes bibliographical references and index. 1. Heisenberg uncertainty principle. 2. Quantum theory. I. Babich, Babette E., editor. II. Title. III. Series: History and philosophy of science; 1. QC174.17.H4H44 530.12—dc23 2015025394 ISBN 978-1-4331-3062-5 (hardcover) ISBN 978-1-4539-1713-8 (e-book) ISSN 2376-6336 (print) ISSN 2376-6344 (online)

Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at


Cover image: Paul Cezanne (1839–1906), The Black Clock. Private Collection. Photo credit: Foto Marburg/Art Resource, NY

© 2016 Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., New York 29 Broadway, 18th floor, New York, NY 10006

All rights reserved. Reprint or reproduction, even partially, in all forms such as microfilm, xerography, microfiche, microcard, and offset strictly prohibited.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.