• The Scientist as Philosopher

      Weinert, Friedel (2005-01-12)
      This paper examines how such fundamental notions as causality and determinism have undergone changes as a direct result of empirical discoveries. Although such notions are often regarded as metaphysical or a priori concepts, experimental discoveries at the beginning of this century¿radioactive decay, blackbody radiation and spontaneous emission-led to a direct questioning of the notions of causality and determinism. Experimental evidence suggests that these two notions must be separated. Causality and indeterminism are compatible with the behavior of quantum-mechanical systems. The argument also sheds some light on the Duhem-Quine thesis, since experimental results at the periphery of the conceptual scheme directly affect conceptions at the very core.