Photo of Henry Margenau. Henry Margenau. Instructional Specialist, Writing Studies. Office: Dickson Hall ; Email: [email protected]; Phone. Why I am a Christian. Professor Henry Margenau. Dear Roy: In a recent telephone conversation you requested that I clarify, or perhaps amplify, my claim that I. Henry Margenau. + Add or change photo on IMDbPro». Contribute to IMDb. Add a bio, trivia, and more. Update information for Henry Margenau».

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The Mathematics of Physics and Chemistry: Henry Margenau: : Books

Last is a view which is found in the writings of Kant and developed in detail to fit modern science by Cassirer. Here Margenau parts company with his lifelong colleague and mentor, Ernst Cassirer.

Indeterminacy not a solution to problem of freedom, but the first step Secondly, embracing the belief that freedom is made possible by indeterminacies in nature will not solve the problem of freedom. Share your thoughts with other customers. Upon realizing this one immediately confronts the standard question of reducibility: It is clear that all this depends on factors far removed from the field of physics.

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In that case, habit acquired during my student days will probably cause me to raise my right hand. There is a very clear chapter on quantum mechanics, stating the basic postulates and indicating that the Shrodinger wave mechanics and Heisenberg matrix mechanics formulations are essentially equivalent.

Although proponentso f this view often employ ambiguous language, what they wish their states to represent is not actual knowledge but potential knowledge. One thing, then, is utterly apparent: It springs from the desire of making a clean break with erroneous notions and therefore emphasizes an opposite extreme.

Freedom involves two components: Quantum indeterminacy, being the only item of its kind now firmly known, must thus be placed in the center of the present discussion. The distance from here to choices which can be said to be morally good or bad, which conform or do not conform to ethical principles, which carry responsibility, is very great. Throughout this lecture one single physical law is continually called upon to do extremely heavy duty, namely Heisenberg’s indeterminacy principle.


Only alternative IIb provides the possibility of freedom in the face of unrelieved classical causality as it is understood in pre-quantum physics. I was aware of having a choice, there was a moment of reflection, perhaps a brief recall of past occasions, then came a glimmer of rudimentary satisfaction in doing the unexpected, next a decision and finally the act.

Our thesis is that quantum mechanics leaves our body, our brain, at any moment in a state with numerous because of its complexity we might say innumerable possible futures, each with a predetermined probability. The latter may be said to be the analytical continuation of the former in the field of ordinary experience. When Cassirer died, Margenau was preparing an appendix for the English translation of Determinism and Indeterminism in Modern Physics.

Henry Margenau April 30, — February 8, was a German-American physicistand philosopher of science. Hegel Martin Heidegger Heraclitus R. From Newton to ESP.

There’s a problem loading this menu right now. And if this is true there seems to be little motive for insisting that another concept, that of state, should deal not with factual objects but with our modes of awareness. But it has lifted it out of the wastebasket of illusions and paradoxes and re-established it as a challenging problem maggenau be further resolved.

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In view of the analytical smoothness with which the two disciplines join it might seem unwise to maintain in one a fundamental attitude which has no place in the other and which would constitute a conceptual break at the passage from one to the other.

Pages with related products. Freedom is a phenomenon of consciousness of which one becomes aware by introspection. Some feel that a view which finds a root of freedom in physical science denigrates and demeans the high estate of ethics whose legitimate concerns should not seek refuge in the indeterminacies of natural events.

A documented example is found in the literature. An important argument has been directed against the use to which that principle is here to be put, namely the argument which asserts that indeterminacy is limited to the atomic realm and loses its validity in the macrocosm.


Clearly, it is difficult to maintain that atomic indeterminacy has nothing to do with the inhabitants of the macrocosm.

The Mathematics of Physics and Chemistryby H. However, his book The Miracle of Existence Ox Bow Press, shows Margenau’s broad interests not only in Christianity, but also in Eastern religions and his fascination with finding connections among different religious and philosophical traditions.

It is dated although at the time I’m sure that it was considered modern. An omniscient being is not free, since knowing what happens excludes all choice in situations which otherwise permit it.

Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1. Well in comparison to Mathews and Walker I’d have to say it is an improvement in that it does not assume alot on the part of the student. But it seems far more likely, and here is where I would place my bet, that further principles even more widely restrictive of Laplacian causality will enter science, in which case the position here taken will be re-enforced.

However, a distinguished meteorologist recently told me that a fluctuation in velocity no larger than is compatible with Heisenberg’s principle can be the cause of a low.

Why I am a Christian

The difference between determinism and freedom has been likened to two seemingly contradictory properties of physical objects: The recent controversy concerning emergence or becoming, and the sense in which time is a fourth dimension of space is strongly affected by it.

Margenau distinguished between what he termed the “objective” ontological view and the “subjective” epistemological view of quantum mechanics, associating the latter with much talk by Neils Bohr and Werner Heisenberg about the observer and the observer’s knowledge. The problem of freedom, however, has been with us since the dawn of philosophy, and it behooves us now to follow up the allusions at the beginning of section 1 and comment on the uneasy hwnry between deterministic science and freedom-conscious moral philosophy which existed throughout the centuries that preceded ours.