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Law of Causality & Its Limitsby Philipp Frank
Synopses & Reviews
The Law of Causality and its Limits (1931) a principal work from the classical period of the Vienna Circle, was written by Philipp Frank, a physicist and philosopher, to clarify the strengths and weaknesses of the notion of causal explanation. The book contains analyses of central issues in the philosophy of science: meaning of general statements, determinism, vitalism, lawfulness in biology and physical science, irreversibility, cause and chance, among others.
Book News Annotation:
Translates an important 1932 work by Austrian physicist-turned- philosopher Frank (1884-1966). Among the topics he discusses are the Laplacean determinism of global causal laws of nature; the loss of causal simplicity with the establishment of field concepts; cause and chance in classical, statistical-mechanical, and quantum physics; conservation in laws and causal laws; the seeming irreversibility of natural processes; extremal principles; vitalist explanations as also causal; miracles and theological explanations; and lawfulness in the phenomena of life. First published by Springer-Verlag as Das Kauselgesetz und seine Grenzen. No subject index.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Includes bibliographical references (p. 281-289) and index.
Table of Contents
Preface. I. The Dangers of Meaninglessness for Statements of Great Generality. II. The Most Incisive Formulation of the Law of Causality: Laplace's Demand for a World-Formula. III. Currents of Thought Hostile to Causality. IV. Causality, Finalism and Vitalism. V. Physical Lawfulness and Causality. VI. Causality and Chance. VII. Causality and Quantum Mechanics. VIII. Causality, Chance or Plan in the Development of the World? IX. Difficulties in the Formulation of a General Law of Causality. X. On the So-Called `True' World. XI. On the Validity of the Law of Causality.
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