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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 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
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
John Martin Fischer
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
Jaegwon Kim
William King
Hilary Kornblith
Christine Korsgaard
Saul Kripke
Andrea Lavazza
Keith Lehrer
Gottfried Leibniz
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
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
William Whewell
Alfred North Whitehead
David Widerker
David Wiggins
Bernard Williams
Timothy Williamson
Ludwig Wittgenstein
Susan Wolf

Scientists

Michael Arbib
Bernard Baars
Gregory Bateson
John S. Bell
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
Jean-Pierre Changeux
Arthur Holly Compton
John Conway
John Cramer
E. P. Culverwell
Charles Darwin
Terrence Deacon
Louis de Broglie
Max Delbrück
Abraham de Moivre
Paul Dirac
Hans Driesch
John Eccles
Arthur Stanley Eddington
Paul Ehrenfest
Albert Einstein
Hugh Everett, III
Franz Exner
Richard Feynman
R. A. Fisher
Joseph Fourier
Lila Gatlin
Michael Gazzaniga
GianCarlo Ghirardi
J. Willard Gibbs
Nicolas Gisin
Paul Glimcher
Thomas Gold
A.O.Gomes
Brian Goodwin
Joshua Greene
Jacques Hadamard
Patrick Haggard
Stuart Hameroff
Augustin Hamon
Sam Harris
Hyman Hartman
John-Dylan Haynes
Martin Heisenberg
Werner Heisenberg
John Herschel
Jesper Hoffmeyer
E. T. Jaynes
William Stanley Jevons
Roman Jakobson
Pascual Jordan
Ruth E. Kastner
Stuart Kauffman
Simon Kochen
Stephen Kosslyn
Ladislav Kovàč
Rolf Landauer
Alfred Landé
Pierre-Simon Laplace
David Layzer
Benjamin Libet
Seth Lloyd
Hendrik Lorentz
Josef Loschmidt
Ernst Mach
Donald MacKay
Henry Margenau
James Clerk Maxwell
Ernst Mayr
Ulrich Mohrhoff
Jacques Monod
Emmy Noether
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
Juan Roederer
Jerome Rothstein
David Ruelle
Erwin Schrödinger
Aaron Schurger
Claude Shannon
David Shiang
Herbert Simon
Dean Keith Simonton
B. F. Skinner
Roger Sperry
Henry Stapp
Tom Stonier
Antoine Suarez
Leo Szilard
William Thomson (Kelvin)
Peter Tse
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
H. Dieter Zeh
Ernst Zermelo
Wojciech Zurek

Presentations

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David Bohm

Although David Bohm is perhaps best known for his work exploring the possibilities of "hidden variables" that would eliminate quantum indeterminacy and restore complete determinism to physics, he was a first-class quantum physicist who understood the quantum theory better than most working physicists who never questioned its formalism.

Bohm was pressed to develop hidden variables by his mentor Einstein, who thought Bohm was young enough and smart enough to produce the mathematical arguments that the older generation of "determinist" physicists like Erwin Schrödinger, Max Planck, and others had not been able to accomplish.

Bohm inspired John Bell to develop tests or "inequalities" that would need to be satisfied by hidden variables. To this date, every test has violated the inequalities and shown that the quantum theory cannot be replaced by one with hidden variables.

The Measurement Process
David Bohm was particularly clear on the process of measurement. He said it involved macroscopic irreversibility, which was a sign and a consequence of treating the measuring apparatus as a macroscopic system that could not itself be treated quantum mechanically. The macroscopic system could, in principle, be treated quantum mechanically, but Bohm said its many degrees of internal freedom would destroy any interference effects. This is the modern theory of quantum decoherence.

Bohm's view is consistent with the information-philosophy solution to the measurement problem. A measurement has only been made when new information has come into the world and adequate entropy has been carried away to insure the stability of the information long enough for it to be observed by the "conscious" observer.

In his 1950 textbook Quantum Theory, Bohm discusses measurement in chapter 22, section 12.

12. Irreversibility of Process of Measurement and Its Fundamental Role in Quantum Theory.
From the previous work it follows that a measurement process is irreversible in the sense that, after it has occurred, re-establishment of definite phase relations between the eigenfunctions of the measured variable is overwhelmingly unlikely. This irreversibility greatly resembles that which appears in thermodynamic processes, where a decrease of entropy is also an overwhelmingly unlikely possibility.*

* There is, in fact, a close connection between entropy and the process of measurement. See L. Szilard, , 53, 840, 1929. The necessity for such a connection can be seen by considering a box divided by a partition into two equal parts, containing an equal number of gas molecules in each part. Suppose that in this box is placed a device that can provide a rough measurement of the position of each atom as it approaches the partition. This device is coupled automatically to a gate in the partition in such a way that the gate will be opened if a molecule approaches the gate from the right, but closed if it approaches from the left. Thus, in time, all the molecules can be made to accumulate on the left-hand side. In this way, the entropy of the gas decreases. If there were no compensating increase of entropy of the mechanism, then the second law of thermodynamics would be violated. We have seen, however, that in practice, every process which can provide a definite measurement disclosing in which side of the box the molecule actually is, must also be attended by irreversible changes in the measuring apparatus. In fact, it can be shown that these changes must be at least large enough to compensate for the decrease in entropy of the gas. Thus, the second law of thermodynamics cannot actually be violated in this way. This means, of course, that Maxwell's famous "sorting demon " cannot operate, if he is made of matter obeying all of the laws of physics. (See L. Brillouin, American Scientist, 38, 594, 1950.)

Because the irreversible behavior of the measuring apparatus is essential for the destruction of definite phase relations and because, in turn, the destruction of definite phase relation's is essential for the consistency of the quantum theory as a whole, it follows that thermodynamic irreversibility enters into the quantum theory in an integral way. This is in remarkable contrast to classical theory, where the concept of thermodynamic irreversibility plays no fundamental role in the basic sciences of mechanics and electrodynamics. Thus, whereas in classical theory fundamental variables (such as position or momentum of an elementary particle) are regarded as having definite values independently of whether the measuring apparatus is reversible or not, in quantum theory we find that such a quantity can take on a well defined value only when the system is coupled indivisibly to a classically describable system undergoing irreversible processes. The very definition of the state of any one system at the microscopic level therefore requires that matter in the large shall undergo irreversible processes. There is a strong analogy here to the behavior of biological systems, where, likewise, the very existence of the fundamental elements (for example, the cells) depends on the maintenance of irreversible processes involving the oxidation of food throughout an organism as a whole. (A stoppage of these processes would result in the dissolution of the cell.)

The de Broglie-Bohm "Pilot-Wave" Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics
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