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History and Theory of Knowledge ProductionAn Introductory Outline$
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Rajan Gurukkal

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780199490363

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199490363.001.0001

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Science of Uncertainty

Science of Uncertainty

(p.195) 6 Science of Uncertainty
History and Theory of Knowledge Production

Rajan Gurukkal

Oxford University Press

This chapter virtually illuminates the invisible universe of subatomic dynamics through mathematical formalism and probability theory rather than empiricism based on instrumentation. A series of strange discoveries go into the making of the New Science and a discussion of the process constitutes the core of this chapter. Max Planck’s proposition of the Quanta, Niels Bohr’s discovery of objects’ non-observable and immeasurable complementary properties, Erwin Schrodinger’s interpretation of the object-subject split as a figment of imagination, Werner Karl Heisenberg’s enunciation of the Uncertainty Principle precluding the possibility of precision about certain pairs of physical properties of a particle, Kurt Friedrich Godel’s thesis of Undecidability based on his incompleteness theorems demonstrating certain inherent limits of provability about formal axiomatic theories, Murray Gell-Mann’s theory of Complexity in particle physics, Richard Feynman’s thesis on quantum mechanics, and Einstein’s theories of relativity, literally shook Newtonian physics of certainty with problems of uncertainty and subjectivity. At the end, the chapter makes a review of speculative thoughts and imagination about the dynamics of subatomic micro-universe as well as the mechanics of the galactic macro-universe.

Keywords:   relativity, uncertainty, complexity, undecidability, subjectivity, new science, constructivism, incompleteness, quantum mechanics

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