HISTORY OF SCIENCE AND SCIENTIFIC PERCEPTION OF REALITY: THE DEVELOPMENT OF  SCIENTIFIC THINKING or 'reason'

                     

Theme: The progress in science is a function of human reason which involves contemplation... Progress in human knowledge advances with formulation of the 'right' questions. Inquiry is the primary tool for thinking. The spirit of inquiry runs through the entire history of philosophy as 'science'. The worldview and value system of modern science  can be traced back in terms of the critique of reason as an organizing principle. The historical development of 'reason'.... 'systems theory'...  Complex systems have ‘emergent properties’ that describe their characteristics as wholes and these properties are conditioned, but not determined by the constituent parts of the systems... 'holistic science'... 

 "Philosophers ask many more questions than they can answer. Asking a good clear question is one of the most important things we can do. We find many instances in the history of both science and philosophy where a question was unanswered for centuries until some genius came along and rephrased the question, and all of a sudden it was found that the answer was very simple to find as well. For this reason a great deal of time is spent on this book in clarifying issues. Clarification of a difficult problem is a great step forward. It certainly avoids much fruitless and apparently endless debate and hence clears the air for fruitful work and the solution of the problem." ( John G, Kemeny  A Philosopher Looks at Science Van Nostrand Rheinhold Company, l959 xii)        

            (Rembrandt's Aristotle)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       home

 subsections:

Definition of science

 historical development of 'reason': 'reason' as logical deduction or 'deductive reasoning'...  

 350 B.C. until 'Middle Ages'...  anthropocentric view...

 

          Aristotle, Ptolemy, Thomas Aquinas...   

 Facts were made to 'fit' the beliefs held at the time.

Middle Ages  

               Middle Ages and the 'organic worldview'

Age of 'Scientific Revolution' (16th and 17th centuries)  

          role of contemplation in science...  human ability to look at a problem from different perspectives and make new connections... sudden shift in the way a problem is viewed i.e. 'insight' depends on freedom from fear and conflict... 'freedom of thought'...

sixteenth century ... importance of observation... groundwork of 'empiricism'          

              Scientific revolution begins in 1543...    scientific method as science of 'maturity'...

               Nicolas Copernicus, Galilei Galileo,  Johan Kepler, Rene Descartes,

seventeenth century

theory-making process: 'inductive reasoning' or 'induction'... empiricism and 'scientific method' 

           Francis Bacon and the 'new method' of induction...

       Isaac Newton and 'scientific method'...  tentative premise or 'hypothesis'... 

                                     orthodox science or 'scientism'...     Auguste Compte and positivism... 

  "The world view and value system that lie at the basis of our culture and that have to be carefully re-examined were formulated in their essential outlines in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries". (Fritjof Capra The Turning Point p.54)

nineteenth century

twentieth century  

         quantum mechanics...   quantum theory...

Copenhagen interpretation...

Max Planck: discontinuous structure of nature,

Neils Bohr:  a new theoretical planetary model of the atom combined the notion of discrete quanta with the discontinuous pattern of the hydrogen atom's spectral lines...

Albert Einstein, Erwin Schroedinger, Werner Heisenberg,  Ernst Mach,

Karl Popper and theory making process... 

 Thomas Kuhn...

Systems thinking or 'holistic perspective'... the sciences are conceptual systems which correspond with reality. 

         systems theory... ...  Ludwig van Bertalanffy...     open natural systems and 'emergent properties'...

            James Lovelock and Gaia hyothesis...

implications for education...

references...

"Thinking itself remains just what it has been all the time, a matter of following up and testing the conclusions suggested by the facts and events of life." (John Dewey. How We Think: A Restatement of the Relation of Reflective Thinking to the Educative Process. Lexington, MA: D.C. Heath and Company, 1933 p.89)

"The history of culture shows that mankind's scientific knowledge and technical abilities have developed, especially in all their earlier stages, out of the fundamental problems of life."(John Dewey 216)  

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 Definition of science...  'science' is a human activity involving a given perception of reality... perspective of the world... a 'worldview' or 'paradigm'. Beliefs are structured within the framework of the assumptions of a given  paradigm....

 The 'protosciences' of the ancients were based on the belief that complex natural phenomena could be explained by theological revelation and an understanding of the 'soul.'  In most ancient civilizations people knew that knowledge was a fearful thing... that knowing the name of something implied having power over it - 'magic'. In ancient myths and legends, eating from the tree of knowledge meant banishment from some garden... the 'janus-like quality of knowledge'.

 ancient Greece-   reality organized through classical logic...  Early 'philosophy' was the 'queen of sciences'..  thinking meant discovering the truth through contemplation and observation. See Plato's 'philosopher-king' (Republic) Aristotle's Nichomachean Ethics.

 

middle ages in Europe - reason was generally dormant medieval Scholaticism... exercised by Church patriarchy to provide a rational basis for the revealed scriptural knowledge of their theology... using the thought process of deduction, philosophers made rational 'proofs' of spiritual 'truths'...such as the existence of God...  ..'absolute' non-dualistic reality'... through reason.

 Reason as process of logical proof... deductive reasoning or 'deduction? Ddeductive reasoning is seeing reality the way that one imagines it should  be and not the way it is...  'immature mind'... EDUCTIVE REASONING IS SEEING REALITY THE WAY THAT ONE IMAGINES IT "SHOULD"(REALITY IS CONSCIOUSNESS AND AWARENESS)

"Rationalism and the rationalistic approach referred to the search of truth by the power of reason alone. The term 'reason' referred to the philosophical process of 'logical thought'. The process of logical thought was referred to as 'reasoning'. The process of 'reasoning' was considered to be the natural procedure for obtaining information about 'reality'. In the logical thought process of rationalism, conclusions were drawn on the basis of given 'self-evident' premises. The given premises were fabricated out of the imagination and impeccably logical philosophies were built on false premises. Conclusions were deduced through a process of logical proof or 'deduction'. Logical deduction leads to a conclusion regardless of the truth or untruth of the premises. If the premise is false, conclusions are nevertheless deduced from the false premise through a process of logical proof. In this way, a conclusion is logically deduced from a given premise, regardless of whether or not the premise is true. In this way impeccably logical philosophies can be built on false premises. The logical thought process which leads to the conclusion is known as 'logical deduction'. Adding nothing new, the deductive approach of rationalism hindered progress in knowledge of nature for centuries. The deductive approach of rationalism served to maintain the false perceptions of reality. The approach of rationalism added nothing new to our knowledge of nature. For centuries, rationalism hindered progress in our knowledge of nature". (Beck, W. Modern Science and the Nature of Life, New York: Doubleday and Company, 1961.)

Logical deduction leads to a conclusion regardless of the truth or untruth of the premises. Conclusions are drawn on the basis of given 'self-evident' premises. If the premise is false, conclusions are nevertheless deduced from the false premise through a process of logical proof. The logical thought process which leads to the conclusion is known as 'logical deduction'.

In this way, a conclusion is logically deduced from a given premise, regardless of whether or not the premise is true. In this way impeccably logical philosophies can be built on false premises.

As a thought process, deduction is valid if the premises are correct... but deduction is invalid if the premises are incorrect.

Previous to 'scientific method', no one had thought of a systematic way to to draw conclusions....measurements were not made and compared.... observations were made and conclusions were drawn rationally ...in a thought process of 'deduction'...using reason and logic... but on the basis of given premises.. The conclusions were deduced on the basis of given premises which might have beem false in the first place... The conclusions which were drawn deductively on the basis of false premises were innacurate... mistaken categories or 'category errors' because it is not possible to draw conclusions about transcendant qualities - 'absolute' non dualistic reality'- through reason. When the ultimate reality is conceived by reason alone two opposites... incompatible dualisms... dichotomies... are created... generated instead of the wholistic understanding of the nondualistic reality. Using reason alone it is not possible to conceive of something as being and not being at the same time. Category error was committed again when empirical science was used to explain the ultimate reality. It denied the validity of contemplation in gaining knowledge of reality. Science became 'scientism'- exclusive empiricism - all knowledge is based in experience

 Empirical science denied the validity of contemplation in gaining knowledge of reality.

Previous to scientific method, observations were made and conclusions were drawn rationally (using reason and logic) but on the basis of given premises. No one had thought of a systematic way to draw conclusions. Measurements were not made and compared.

 

 

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  Aristotle's comprehensive system of ideas concerning the universe or 'nature': the 'Aristotelian system':  Aristotle (384 to 322 B.C.) was a philosopher who set out to formulate the "essential nature of science and the laws of science...and a general method for 'all' scientific work." (Korzybski, Science and Sanity ). He formulated a general theory of the universe, a system of philosophy, the 'Aristotelian system largely by what was considered to be the natural procedure for obtaining information about reality i.e. the process of  philosophical logical thought...or 'deductive reasoning'. 'Reason' was used to refer to process of 'logical proof' from self evident principles or premises... 'logical deductionism'... or 'deduction'. As a theory making process deduction is valid if the premises are correct, but invalid if the premises are incorrect. Aristotle's theory of the universe... system of ideas... philosophical system... was internally consistent and 'logical' even though it was built on false premises.  

The deductive approach of rationalism added nothing to the knowledge of nature... served to maintain the false perceptions of reality... and hindered scientific progress for centuries.  False perceptions of reality were maintained through the deductive approach of searching for truth by the power of reason alone i.e. 'rationalism'.With the rationalistic approach impeccably logical philosophies were built on premises fabricated out of the imagination and arbitrarily assigned as so-called 'self-evident' premises for philosophical systems of logical thought... premises from which conclusions were logically deduced. Even though the premises were in fact false notions of the world (as opposed to functional or 'scientific' language which reflects the structure of the world) reflected in a primitive language of anthropomorphic structure based on primitive mythology... so-called 'self-evident principles'  The language which they inherited was not functional because it was not a reflection of the structure of the world. In his day little was known of the scientific data which we have today and naturally the system which he formulated was based on the empirical world as it was understood at the time.. a number of false notions. It was generally accepted that mankind was the most important creation and that the earth on which he lived was stationary and at the center of the universe. It was 'evident' that 'all materials seeks to move toward their natural levels'. Given this premise it was therefore 'reasonable ' to suppose that each kind of material would tend to move toward its 'natural' place... a 'logical deduction. Fire 'naturally' moves upward towards its place with the sun and the stars. Rocks 'naturally' move downward toward their place in the earth. Different objects would move at different rates downwards towards the earth or upwards towards the sky, depending on the extent of their 'earthiness' or 'fieriness'.

 There was no one systematic way of drawing conclusions.... conclusions were deduced through a process of  logical proof or 'logical deduction'. Logical deduction leads to a conclusion regardless of the truth or untruth of the premise. With the rationalistic approach - using the power of 'reason' and 'rational thought' to search the 'truth' - it seemed 'reasonable' to build impeccably logical philosophies on false premises. The process was considered to be the natural procedure for obtaining information about 'reality'. Aristotle's system of ideas was internally consistent and 'logical' even though it was built on false premises. Observations were made and conclusions were drawn rationally (using reason and logic - 'rationalism')

 He and his followers formulated a system of philosophy, science and 'logic' in terms of

 The term 'reason' was used to refer to deduction fro

The logical deduction of rationalism leads to a conclusion regardless of the truth or untruth of the premises. The conclusions were deduced through a process of logical proof or deduction.

  Aristotle's principle... theory... of the man-centered universe fit well with the dogma of Christian theology and ethics.  In the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas, the Aristotelian worldview became incorporated into the teachings of the Christian Church. As part of the religious dogma, the ideas of Aristotle remained unchallenged for nearly two thousand years.

..."formulated by those who for nearly two thousand years since Aristotle have controlled our knowlege and methods of orientation, and who for purposes of their own, selected what appears today as the worst of Aristotle... and with their own additions, imposed this composite system upon us... It is this composite system which is called 'aristotelian' and its influence is still with us today, affecting us both consciously and unconsciously... because of the character of his work he has semantically affected perhaps the largest number of people ever influenced by a single man." (Alfred Korzybski Science and Sanity preface to the first edition page xxvii)   

. The process of 'reasoning' was considered to be the natural procedure for obtaining information about 'reality'

Rationalism and the rationalistic approach referred to the search of truth by the power of reason alone. The given premises were fabricated out of the imagination and impeccably logical philosophies were built on false premises.

"... Because of the character of his work (Aristotle)  has semantically affected perhaps the largest number of people ever influenced by a single man." (Korzybski) .

 Claudius Ptolemy Egyptian living in Alexandria around 150 a.d. claimed that the earth was a fixed, inert, immovable mass located at the centre of the universe and that all celestial bodies including the sun and fixed stars revolved around it. He based his cosmology not on observation but on his own conception of what he thought the universe ought to look like if it were to be simple and elegant. This worldview of an earth-centred universe held sway on Western thinking for nearly  2000 years.

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thirteenth century  Philosophers had been made  rational 'proofs' for spiritual 'truths'- existence of God etc. These were innacurate 'category errors' because it is not possible to draw conclusions about trasnscendant qualities - 'absolute' non dualistic reality'- through reason. Two opposites are created when the ultimate reality is conceived by reason alone Incompatible dualisms are generated instead of the wholistic understanding of the nondualistic reality. Using reason alone it is not possible to conceive of something as being and not being at the same time.. (Category error was committed again when empirical science was used to explain the ultimate reality. It denied the validity of contemplation in gaining knowledge of reality. Science understood as 'exclusive empiricism' or 'scientism'- all knowledge is based in experience.)

   (St.) Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) professional scholastic theologian and philosopher... had most powerful influence on world thinking since Aristotle. He combined Aristotle's comprehensive system of nature with Christian theology and ethics.. thus putting Christian doctrine into scientific form... So-called 'scholasticism' or 'scholastic theology' was expression of Christian doctrine in accurate, clear and concise language  In his writings the Aristotelian worldview... 'philosophy/science' of Aristotle... was incorporated into the teachings of the Christian Church.... established the Aristotelian so-called 'scientific' worldview as part of the religious dogma as a conceptual framework that remained unquestioned throughout the Middle Ages. In this way the ideas of Aristotle remained unchallenged for nearly two thousand years.

 With the scientific revolution and the 'heretical' view of the universe set in motion by a Creator, the Christian worldview was supplanted by the worldview of modern science. Man was perceived as separate from nature and in a position to control nature in the interest of humankind. The battle between the two worldviews is evident in the issue of neo-Darwinism versus Creationism. "The world view and value system that lie at the basis of our culture and that have to be carefully reexamined were formulated in their essential outlines in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Between 1500 and 1700 there was a dramatic shift in the way people pictured the world and in their whole way of thinking. The new mentality and the new perception of the cosmos gave our Western civilization the features that are characteristic of the modern era. They became the basis of the paradigm that has dominated our culture for the past three hundred years.

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 Medieval period or 'middle ages' in Europe - reason was generally dormant - exercised by Church patriarchy to provide a rational basis for the revealed scriptural knowledge of their theology. During the medieval period in Europe and until the 18th century, societies of Europe and North America were dominated by the worldview of the Christian church. The concepts of 'oneness' and 'wholeness' were considered to be metaphysical notions in the realm of theology.

The 'organic worldview' of the Middle Ages implied a value system which was conducive to ecological behavior. Until 1500 the dominant worldview in Europe was characterized by the interdependence of spirirtual and material phenomena and the subordination of individual needs to those of the community... the 'organic worldview'. People lived in small, cohesive communities and experienced nature in terms of organic relationships characterized by the interdependence of spirirtual and material phenomena and the subordination of individual needs to those of the community. In Europe this organic worldview gave rise to a scientific framework which rested on two authorities - Aristotle and the Christian Church. The worldview of the Church was dominant in European societies until the18th century. In North America the dominance of the Church continues in the form of a 'neo-Darwinism versus Creationism' issue.

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 Sixteenth and seventeenth centuries...  new rational ideology and the 'scientific revolution'

The medieval outlook changed radically in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries... 'Age of the Scientific Revolution'.... in reference to the crucial role of science in bringing about  far-reaching changes. The notion of an organic, living and spiritual universe was replaced by that of the world as a machine... a development brought about by revolutionary changes in physics and astronomy, culminating in the achievements of Copernicus, Galileo and Newton. The world machine became the dominant metaphor of the modern era.

 In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries there was a radical change in the 'medieval worldview' or 'paradigm'. The notion of an organic, living and spiritual universe was replaced by that of the world as a machine. It was the world machine which became the dominant metaphor of the modern era. This development was brought about by revolutionary changes in physics and astronomy, culminating in the achievements of Copernicus, Galileo and Newton.

 The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the Age of the Scientific Revolution.because of the crucial role of science in bringing about far-reaching changes. Between 1500 and 1700 there was a dramatic shift in the way people pictured the world and in their whole way of thinking. The notion of an organic, living and spiritual universe was replaced by that of the world as a machine, and the world machine became the dominant metaphor of the modern era. This development was brought about by revolutionary changes in physics and astronomy, culminating in the achievements of Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo and Newton.  Galileo was the first to practise empiricism.

With the scientific revolution and the 'heretical' view of the universe set in motion by a Creator, the Christian worldview was replaced by a scientific worldview based on the belief that the universe was set in motion by a Creator and obeyed certain universal laws of motion. Man was perceived as separate from nature and in a position to control nature in the interest of humankind. The battle between the two worldviews (Christian view of universe set in motion by a Creator and view of modern science) is evident in the debate of neo-Darwinism versus Creationism.

The scientific Revolution overturned the authority of Aristotle and the dogma of the Church. These were replaced by the scientific study of the universe using methods of reductionism which originated with the analytic method of Descartes ... the 'Cartesian method'.... Cartesian 'rationalism'...

About 1600, Kepler and Galileo invented and practised the 'scientific method'.

 "It is important to appreciate what the new rational ideology accomplished. It challenged the dogma and rigidity of medieval Scholaticism, releasing humanity from centuries of superstition and oppression by a powerful priesthood. Nature was comprehended and brought under increasing control, harnessed to meet the growing material demands of an expanding middle class. A powerful affiliation of science, the Protestant Reformation, and a rising mercantile class shattered existing religious and civic hierarchies and paved the way for democratic forms of social organization. Enlightenment thought was essential to the development of social freedoms. Yet this new way of apprehending reality and the historic social forms such apprehension assumed contained the seeds of their own reversal." (Kathleen Kesson. "Critical Theory and Holistic Education: Carrying on the Conversation" in Miller et al. The Renewal of Meaning in Education: Responses to the Cultural and Ecological Crisis of our Times. 99)

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   sixteenth century empirical science

Nicolas Copernicus (1473-1543) considered as 'the father of modern astronomy'...

The year which is usually considered as marking the beginning of the 'scientific revolution' is 1543 when Copernicus overthrew the geocentric view of Ptolemy and the Bible that had been accepted dogma for more than a thousand years. Copernicus was a Polish astronomer who became canon of the cathedral of Frauenberg where he spent a secluded academic life. Eventually published a book ( De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium... On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Bodies) describing a new view of the solar system in which the earth was no longer at the center of the universe... Instead the sun was close to the center and the earth a planet that moved in an orbit around it like any other planet...  This view marked the beginning of the end of the old Greek view of the universe in which the earth was at the center. According to Copernicus' cosmology ...heliocentric view of the universe the earth was not the center of the universe but merely one of the many planets circling a minor star at the edge of the galaxy. Man was robbed of his proud position as the central figure of God's creation. Copernicus was fully aware that his view would deeply offend the religious consciousness of his time When he advocated that the earth revolves around the sun, he met with recurrent trouble with the church authorities. He was finally forced to recant his 'heretical beliefs' before the Inquisition in Rome. The most 'radical' of his beliefs was the notion that accurate observation and information supply useful information about the universe. To know the truth look at nature and not at Aristotle. He delayed publication of his work until 1543, the year of his death, and even then he presented the heliocentric view merely as a hypothesis   His ideas remained obscure for about a hundred years after his death.. It was not until the 17th century that Galileo, Kepler and Newton built on Copernicus' heliocentic theory of the universe. They produced the revolution which swept away the ideas of Aristotle and replaced them with ideas leading to modern astronomy and natural science... hence 'Copernican Revolution'.  and man was robbed of his proud position as the central figure of God's creation. Copernicus was fully aware that his view would deeeply offend the religious consciousness of his time; he delayed its publication until 1543, the year of his death, and even then he presented the heliocentric view merely as a hypothesis.

The concpt of a sun-cetered universe had been proposed in 200 b.c. by Aristarchus of Samos an island off the coast of Turkey. It did not survive Aristotle's influence and as a result Western thought stagnated for 2000 years. In the long history of civilisation the belief that our abode in space, the earth, was fixed at the center of the universe was long in dying. It is easy to sympathise with that the heavens rotate with  the fixed stars. Yet only three centuries ago people were persecuted for suggesting that this was not the case. The  idea that the earth rotated around the sun  was preposterous and seemed to contradict not only faith but  common sense as well. The egocentric idea that the earth was at the center of the universe was so well established that even after the acceptance of the motion of earth and the planets around the sun, it ws still believed that the stars were fixed and that it was the solar system which was at the centre of the universe. 

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Kepler  Copernicus was followed by Kepler, a scientist and mystic, who searched for the harmony of the spheres and was able through painstaking work, with astronomical tables to formulate his celebrated empirical laws of planetary motion which gave further support to the Copernican system.

 Galilei Galileo 'father of modern science' (1564-1642) The real change in scientific opinion was brought about by Galileo... the first to depend on the empirical approach to knowledge and the truth of reality... gathering experimental data information through the senses. He laid the groundwork of 'empiricism'... the first to practise empiricism... from the Greek for 'experience' and 'trial'. The empirical approach to knowledge and the truth of reality is through the sense data. Galileo stressed the importance of observation, experiment and factual knowledge. Galileo was the first to combine scientific experimentation with the use of mathematical language to formulate the laws which he discovered. For this reason he is considered as the father of modern science.

Galileo was an ingenious experimenter first and theoretician second. He carried out experiments on the speeds of balls rolling down inclined planes. He discovered laws governing the velocity of falling bodies (all objects fall to the earth's surface with the same speed regardless of their weight) even though clocks were not yet known measuring time intervals by measuring the weight of water accumulating from a dripping basin. And he discovered mechanical laws governing the motion of objects rolling down inclined planes. He demonstrated that all objects fall to the earth's surface with the same speed regardless of their weight. Already famous for discovering the laws of falling bodies, Galileo turned his attention to astronomy. He developed the telescope and made observations of the planets and discredited Ptolemy's cosmology beyond any doubt. His observations supported the Copernican  hypothesis that the earth revolved around the sun  as a valid scientific theory... When he advocated the 'heliocentric view' (helios Greek for sun) he met with recurrent trouble with the church authorities which were committed to the geocentric view that the sun revolved around the earth, the scene of Christ's sacrifice. He was eventually tried as a 'heretic' before the Inquisition in Rome but  chose to recant rather than accept its judgement. The most 'radical' of his 'heretical beliefs' was the notion that accurate observation and information supply useful information about the universe.... to know the truth look at nature and not at Aristotle. (According to Locke, the mind is like a blank page and experience writes on it). The empiricist gathers information through his senses The story goes that as he rose from his knees in the chamber of penitence he muttered "and yet it (the earth) moves..." He established the Copernican hypothesis as a valid scientific theory.

 "The empirical approach with the use of a mathematical description of nature have remained important criteria of scientific theories up to the present day. The scientist's obsession with measurement and quantification during the past four hundred years has exacted a heavy toll. Experiences of feelings, motives, intentions, consciousness, spirit, values have been ignored." (Fritjof Capra The Turning Point p.54). 

The science of the seventeenth century was based on a new method of inquiry, advocated forcefully by Francis Bacon and which involved the mathematical description of nature and the analytic method of reasoning conceived by the genius of the sixteenth century thinker Rene Descartes. Descartes provided the metaphysical basis for Bacon's theory making process of 'induction'... the separateness of the observed from the the scientist as an 'objective observer' who was to discover the laws of nature by measuring the objects and explaining the causes for their interactions.

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 Francis Bacon (1561-1626) and the beginnings of 'empiricism'... Bacon advocated a new method of inquiry. Bacon was an undergraduate at Trinity College, Cambridge when he questioned the validity of 'deductive rationalism' of Aristotele...  old Aristotelianism which for centuries had yielded no progress in scientific knowledge and instead barren dispute. Since deductive thinking based on a given premise yields conclusions which reiterate some aspect of the same premise then no new knowledge results. He resolved to establish a new philosophy which would reform human knowledge and allow for man's control of nature... a control which was believed to have been lost with the so-called 'fall of Adam'. He only began the task when his political career... Bacon was Lord Chancellor under James I... climaxed in exile. Although he didn't live to complete the task, he secured fame by the method which he suggested be used. He argued that science as 'philosophy' is not a science of things divine or human  nor is it a search for abstract truth ; but is rather a practical activity based on the need to improve conditions for human life by increasing our power over nature and exploiting natural resources. .. understanding of nature... described in his opus New Method or Novum Organum... a challenge to Aristotle's Method or Organon and a direct attack on medieval thought, on 'rationalism' and the defects of Aristotelian 'logic' which argued causes and ignored facts. Bacon claimed that our knowledge of the natural world comes from only from our sense impressions and the only way we can access true knowledge is through a systematic and orderly observation and collection of observations of natural phenomena. These should be recorded and classified as lists of data which he thought would automatically reveal  the 'laws of nature' when they became long enough. The pursuit of data should not be left to chance so scientific 'societies' should be created for the sharing of scientific knowledge and competent leadership to "send forth armies to win the great battle for knowledge". In this way he proposed an alliance between science and power. In emphasizing the limitations of deductive logic, he stressed the value of inductive reasoning... The difference between the two is the hinge upon which empiricism hangs - conclusion from observational data providing something new which is not implicit in a given premise therefore new knowledge. In the process of induction, conclusions are inferred from observation. Bacon recognized that empiricism leads to new knowledge via inductive inference... inductive thinking... Bacon was unaware of the probability factor involved in the acquistion of knowledge and erroneously claimed that this would lead to certain knowledge or 'truth'. Bacon believed that his method would provide answers to significant philosophical questions... that it would reveal the 'eternal truths'.. Bacon's method of inquiry involved the mathematical description of nature and the analytic method of reasoning conceived by the genius of Descartes.

 "Since Bacon, the goal of science has been knowledge that can be used to dominate and control nature, and today both science and technology are used predominantly for purposes that are profoundly antiecological." (Fritjof Capra The Turning Point p. 61) 

"Most ancient civilizations knew what we have forgotten: that knowledge is a fearful thing. To know the name of something is to hold power over it ...in ancient myths and legends..eating from the tree of knowledge meant banishment from one garden or another....In the modern world, this Janus-like quality of knowledge has been forgotten. Descartes, for example, reached the conclusion that 'the more I sought to inform myself, the more I realized how ignorant I was.' Instead of taking this as a proper conclusion of a good education, Descartes thought ignorance was a solvable problem and set forth to find certain truth through a process of radical skepticism. Francis Bacon went further to propose an alliance between science and power which reached fruition with the Manhattan Project and the first atomic bomb."(David Orr 'The Dangers of Education' in Ron Miller p. 27)

Immanuel Kant ... Science and Philosophy became distinct disciplines Before Kant differentiation was made between experimental philosophy and abstract philosophy... after Kant experimental philosophy became 'science'. 

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Theory making process of 'induction'. The traditional idea of the progress of science is that scientific knowledge can be acquired through the process of 'induction'. It is derived from the writings of Francis Bacon, a seventeenth century 'natural philosopher', who argued that the methods of natural philosophy should not be based on 'deduction' from the preconceived notions of Aristotle or the Church. Bacon taught that the guide to knowledge is experience rather than the appeal to authority. The sixteenth century thinker Rene Descartes who believed in the separateness of the observer and the observed, provided the metaphysical basis for Bacon's theory making process of induction As an 'objective' observer, the scientist was to measure the objects, and then explain the causes for their interactions and discover the laws of nature. Using the process of induction to correlate the observations of Nicolaus Copernicus, Tycho Brahe, Johannes Kepler and other scientists, Isaac Newton formulated a theory of mechanics which contained three laws and one assumption. The theory was used to describe the movements of the planets, the formation of tides, the paths of cannonballs, and many other phenomena in a mechanical universe As a result of Newton's success, the nineteenth century mathematician Pierre de LaPlace predicted the deduction of a single mathematical formula to describe nature. Recently, the cosmologist Stephen Hawking predicted the resolution of major problems in physics by the end of the twentieth century. With time, the belief in the strictly mechanical view of nature, in the separateness and pure objectivity of the scientist, and in the infallibility of induction as a theory making process was called into question. The nineteenth century British empiricists John Locke, Bishop George Berkeley and David Hume had emphasized that knowledge is derived from the observer's sensations.  The early twentieth century theories, relativity and quantum theory, "cast doubt over whether or to what extent a scientist is separate from what he observes and hence raised questions about the meaning of objectivity."(21)

    As a theory making process defined by Bacon and applied by Newton, 'induction' was effective within the framework of determinism, that matter is governed by determinate laws of cause and effect. Subatomic events described by the new quantum theory were shown to be determined by laws of probability. In quantum theory individual events do not always have a well defined cause. For example, the jump of an electron from one atomic orbit to another, or the disintegration of a subatomic particle, may occur spontaneously without any single event causing it. We can never predict when and how such a phenomenon is going to happen; we can only predict its probability. This does not mean that atomic events occur in completely arbitrary fashion; it means only that they are not brought about by local causes but by nonlocal connections to a whole system of which they are a part. The behavior of any part is determined by its nonlocal connections to the whole, and since we do not know these connections precisely, we have to replace the narrow classical notion of cause and effect by the wider concept of statistical causality. The laws of atomic physics are statistical laws, according to which the probabilities for atomic events are determined by the dynamics of the whole system. Whereas in classical mechanics the properties and behaviour of the parts determine those of the whole, the situation is reversed in quantum mechanics; it is the whole that determines the behaviour of the parts.

Observers of nature, the 'working scientists', required a new philosophical framework (indeterminism) and an appropriate theory making process.

    The quantum revolution was so cataclysmic because it attacked not one or two conclusions of classical physics but its very cornerstone, the foundation upon which the whole edifice was erected, and that was the subject-object dualism...It was abundantly clear to these physicists that 'objective measurement and verification could no longer be the mark of absolute reality, because the measured object could never be completely separated from the measuring subject-the measure and the measurer, the verified and the verifier, at this level, are one and the same.' Now at about the same time that the 'rigid frame' of scientific dualism was collapsing in physics,

   Rene Descartes (1596-1650) and the Cartesian dogma of a mechanical universe...   Descartes is usually regarded as the founder of modern philosophy. His belief in the certainty of knowledge or 'truth' - the 'Cartesian belief' -  was the basis for his method of analytic reasoning - the 'Cartesian method' - which he claimed was a function of the 'soul' - 'Cartesian doctrine'. He viewed the universe as a machine designed by divine reason or 'God' - the 'Cartesian dogma'.

"Most ancient civilizations knew what we have forgotten: that knowledge is a fearful thing. To know the name of something is to hold power over it. In ancient myths and legends, eating from the tree of knowledge meant banishment from one garden or another. In the modern world, this Janus-like quality of knowledge has been forgotten. Descartes, for example, reached the conclusion that 'the more I sought to inform myself, the more I realized how ignorant I was.' Instead of taking this as a proper conclusion of a good education, Descartes thought ignorance was a solvable problem and set forth to find certain truth through a process of radical skepticism." (Miller et al. The Renewal of Meaning in Education: Responses to the Cultural and Ecological Crisis of our Times Brandon, VT: Holistic Education Press, 1993 27)

 Cartesian belief (certainty of knowledge)...   Cartesian method (analysis)... 

Cartesian doctrine (mind-body dualism)...   Cartesian dogma (mechanical universe)...  Western science...

 Descartes' perception of 'human nature'... The "essence of human nature lies in thought, and all the things we conceive clearly and distinctly are true". In this way Descartes demonstrated the value of error and proved his doctrine - the 'Cartesian doctrine' - that human reason was a valid means of searching for certain knowledge or 'truth'.

 Cartesian belief in the certainty of scientific knowledge or 'truth': Descartes was a brilliant mathematician who was greatly affected by the new physics and astronomy of his time. He did not accept the traditional knowledge of Aristotle and the Church and set out to build a whole new system of thought... a complete and exact natural science He devised an analytic method (Cartesian method) ushering in the so-called 'scientific revolution' which overturned the authority of Aristotle and the dogma of the Church. At age twenty-three in a sudden flash of insight... he experienced an illuminating vision.that was to shape his entire life.. he envisioned a plan for building a complete and exact natural science ... the foundations of a marvellous science' which would unify all knowledge.. This is the 'Cartesian belief' in certainty of knowledge  truth led him to his plan for building a complete and exact natural science based on a new system of thought ...a new method of analysis or reasoning' involving the breaking up of a problem into pieces and rearranging them in a logical order.analytic reasoning  His method of analysis known as the 'Cartesian method'     

....These were replaced by the scientific study of the universe using methods of reductionism which originated with the analytic method of Descartes ... the 'Cartesian method'.

 'Cartesian method' of analytic reasoning is based on the belief in the certainty of knowledge: The method involved the breaking up of the parts of a problem into smaller pieces or thoughts and then rearranging them in a logical order. He presented his analytic method in his famous introduction to science entitled Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting One's Reason and Searching the Truth in the Sciences. Descartes' Discourse on the Method is probably his greatest contribution to science... to human knowledge... because it proved the validity of human reason in the search for certain truth.... and laid the foundation for the general belief that complex phenomena can be understood by reducing them... fragmenting them... to their constituent parts... represents the origin of 'reductionist science' or 'reductionism'. 

 The crux of Descartes' analytic method was doubt. Descartes was a sceptic who systematically doubted everything which he could manage to doubt - all traditional knowledge, all sense impressions and even his own body. He rejected "as absolutely false all opinions I could suppose the least ground for doubt, in order to ascertain whether after that there remained aught in my belief that was wholly indubitable". He doubted that philosophical and scientific concepts could be derived solely from the senses. He realized that the more he doubted, the more ignorant he was and in his own words "the more I sought to inform myself, the more I realized how ignorant I was."  He finally reached the conclusion that ignorance was a solvable problem and set forth to find certain truth through a process of analytical reasoning.

Descartes taught those who came after him how to discover their own errors. 

  He decided to find the certain truth  by way of a  thought process which combined 'radical skepticism' with 'analytical reasoning' He at last came upon one proposition which his doubt could not conquer. There was one thing he could not doubt and that was his own existence as a thinker. He could not doubt that he was doubting. He was unable to doubt that he was doubting  He proved that he could not doubt his own existence as a thinker... n his celebrated statement, "Cogito, ergo sum," "I think, therefore I exist." I think therefore I am.  From this premise he deduced that "the essence of human nature lies in thought, and that all the things we conceive clearly and distinctly are true".With this proposition he established the famous premise which he believed was a valid basis for a rationalistic philosophy which could be used in the search for truth.  Descartes demonstrated the value of error as the source of discovery and that progress can be made from the discovery of error... the problem of ignorance was a solvable one.  He proved beyond doubt that human reason is valid in the process of finding certain truth. Because of his recognition of the importance of an unshakable base for a rationalistic philosophy, Descartes is regarded as the greatest of the rationalists... and even as the founder of modern philosophy. Descartes showed the world that it was possible to make new discoveries through a process which combined radical skepticism with analytical reasoning. 

 Cartesian method explains the mental creation of concepts  The key feature of the Cartesian method was that it explained the mental creation of concepts... innate cognitive disposition... which he called 'innate ideas'. Descartes believed that in experiences of learning the clarity of concepts could not be attributed to the senses. Their creation had to be the product of innate cognitive processes or 'intuition' by the 'pure and attentive mind'... depends on the reasoning of sound thinking or 'sanity', common sense and a cognitive process of  forming concepts... the 'conception of the pure and attentive mind' or 'intuition' which is functional in learning experiences which provide opportunities for the creation of concepts. He believed that the search for scientific truth was only possible through intuition and deduction from a true premise. In his own words "there are no paths to the certain knowledge of truth open to man except evident intuition and necessary deduction...." He believed this premise to be unshakable and therefore a valid basis for a rational philosophy of science. Descartes was the greatest of the rationalists and the founder of modern scientific philosophy. With the rationalism of Descartes, the scientist was perceived as an 'objective' observer whose job it was to measure the objects, and then explain the causes for their interactions and discover the laws of nature.

 (Descartes' concept of innate ideas was refuted by Hobbes and Locke who maintained that there was nothing in the mind that was not first in the senses. According to Locke, the mind is like a blank page and experience writes on it. The empiricist gathers information through his senses. The empirical approach to knowledge and the truth of reality is through the sense data.  Locke's famous phrase, the human mind at birth was a blank tablet or 'tabula rasa' upon which ideas were imprinted through sensory perceptions. It was this notion which served as the starting point of empiricism and the mechanistic theory of knowledge according to which sensations were the basic elements of the mental realm and these were combined into more complex structures by the process of association.

 The empirical approach with the use of a mathematical description of nature have remained important criteria of scientific theories up to the present day. The scientist's obsession with measurement and quantification during the past four hundred years has exacted a heavy toll. Experiences of feelings, motives, intentions, consciousness, spirit, values have been ignored.

 "Overemphasis on the Cartesian method has led to the fragmentation that is characteristic of both our general thinking and our academic disciplines, and to the widespread attitude of reductionism in science - the belief that all aspects of complex phenomena can be understood by reducing them to their constituent parts". (Fritjof Capra The Turning Point p. 59) .

    Cartesian doctrine: mind-body dualism  At the time of Descartes, the connection was not made between the mind and the brain. Descartes based his whole view of nature on the fundamental division between two independent and separate realms: physical reality and spiritual reality... body and soul or 'mind' independent of the brain.

 The Cartesian doctrine taught that the process of reasoning or 'knowing' was a function of the 'soul' and took place independently of the brain. Human reason - sound thinking, intelligence, sanity and sense as a function of the 'soul'   

     Descartes based his view on the clear distinction between the realms of 'physical reality' and 'spiritual reality'. Physical reality was thought to be the reality of unconscious matter governed by mechanical laws which could be studied using a mathematical approach and so it was possible to describe it by science. Spiritual reality was thought to be the reality of the conscious spirit, the mind or 'soul' beyond the reach of scientific investigation... could not be described by science. it was only possible to use a mathematical approach in studying the physical world and not the spiritual world. This dualism was useful for the scientific research of the time because it enabled scientists to free themselves of the authority of the church from their work..The body-matter realm was believed to be governed by mechanical laws but the mind-soul realm was believed to be free and immortal. the spiritual world did not lend itself to a mathematical approach of study

 The dualistic perception of human consciousness - the 'mind-body problem' - a notion inherited from Greek philosophy... had been portrayed earlier by Plato in his Phaedrus. In a powerful and influential image of the psyche, a charioteer drives two horses one representing the bodily passions and the other the higher emotions of the 'soul'. The metaphor embodies the two approaches to consciousness - the biological and the spiritual..... the same dichotomous view of human nature which has been adopted and pursued throughout Western philosophy and science - . Descartes based his whole view of nature on the fundamental division between two parallel but fundamentally different realms, the physical realm and the spiritual realm.each of which could be studied without reference to the other: that of mind or soul - 'res cogitans' the 'thinking thing' and that of matter, or the body - 'res extensa', the 'extended thing'. Descartes claimed that the physical interaction between body and soul occurred through the 'pineal gland' of the brain. (In his time it was not understood that the mind is a function of brain functioning.)  Even human emotions were described in a mechanical way in terms of combinations of six 'elementary passions'.  Descartes' naive models of the 'psyche' led to mechanistic models of psychology.  The Cartesian form of 'mind/body dualism' - mind/soul-body/matter or 'soul-body' or 'mind-matter' had a profound effect on Western thought and shaped the development of Western science and scientific psychology.

The soul was believed to be free and immortal, not governed by mechanical laws and not able to be described by science. This notion was useful at the time because it allowed for scientific investigation which was free from the authority of the church.

The 'mind-body problem' is reflected in many schools of psychology, most notably in the psychologies of 'scientific psychology' of Freud defined self-knowledge in terms of the separate existence of a psychological 'ego' and a physical body.

 The dualistic notion of 'mind-body' and the analytic method of Descartes resulted in the replacement of an organic universe with a mechanical universe produced by divine reason... 

"According to Descartes, mind and body belonged to two parallel but fundamentally different realms, each of which could be studied without reference to the other. The body was governed by mechanical laws, but the mind - or soul - was free and immortal. The soul was clearly and specifically identified with consciousness and could affect the body by interacting with it through the brain's pineal gland. Human emotions were seen as combinations of six elementary 'passions' and described in a semimechanical way. As far as knowledge and perception were concerned, Descartes believed that knowing was a primary function of human reason, that is, of the soul, which could take place independently of the brain. Clarity of concepts, which played such an important role in Descartes' philosophy and science, could not be derived from the confused performance of the senses but was the result of an innate cognitive disposition. Learning and experience merely provided the occasions for the manifestation of innate ideas." (Capra Turning Point1 166)

 Descartes believed that both mind and matter were creations of God. He believed that God created the world as a perfect machine which was governed by mathematical laws. With his view of nature as a perfect machine, Descartes created the conceptual framework for seventeenth century science. After his death, the mechanical picture of nature remained the paradigm of science. The Cartesian view of the universe as a mechanical system provided a 'scientific' sanction for the manipulation and exploitation of nature that has become typical of Western culture. When Francis Bacon proposed an alliance between science and power, Descartes shared Bacon's view that the aim of science was the domination and control of nature...

 Cartesian dogma: mechanical universe designed by 'divine reason' or 'God' "The Cartesian view of the universe as a mechanical system provided a 'scientific' sanction for the manipulation and exploitation of nature that has become typical of Western culture. Descartes himself shared Bacon's view that the aim of science was the domination and control of nature." (Fritjof Capra. The Turning Point. page 61) 

As a result of the combined effects of the Cartesian doctrine (mind-body dualism) and the Cartesian method (analytic reasoning) the worldview of an organic universe was replaced by the worldview of a mechanical universe produced by divine reason. Descartes believed that both mind and matter were creations of God. He believed that God created the world as a perfect machine which was governed by mathematical laws. Man was considered to be the central figure of God's creation. In his time, humankind was perceived as separate from nature and in a position to control nature in its own interest.

The organic worldview of the Middle Ages had implied a value system conducive to ecological behaviour. With the rationalism of Descartes, the scientist was perceived as an 'objective' observer whose job it was to measure the objects, and then explain the causes for their interactions and discover the laws of nature. And in the 19th century the mind-matter dualism became an obstacle because it placed consciousness and other mental phenomena outside of ordinary physical reality and thus outside of the domain of the natural sciences.

 In subsequent centuries scientists omitted any explicit reference to God and developed their theories according to the Cartesian division, the humanities concentrating on the 'res cogitans' and the natural sciences on the 'res extensa.'

    With his view of nature as a perfect machine,  Descartes replaced the 'organic worldview' of the Middle Ages and created the conceptual framework for seventeenth century science. Both Descartes and Galileo made a clear distinction between 'physical reality' and 'spiritual reality'. With the origins of reductionism in science...'Cartesian method', the authority of Aristotle and the dogma of the Church was replaced by the scientific study of the universe as divine creation of Cartesian dogma.  Although his view of nature as a perfect machine remained a vision during his lifetime (see Newton) the mechanical picture of nature remained the paradigm of science and the mechanical universe... the world machine became the dominant metaphor. In his time, humankind was perceived as separate from nature and in a position to control nature in its own interest. When Francis Bacon proposed an alliance between science and power, Descartes shared his view that the aim of science was the domination and control of nature.   Scientists have been obsessed with measurement and quantification science has become 'scientism' preventing progress in the human sciences. Scientific goals have been directed to the control of nature and human nature. The Cartesian view of the universe as a mechanical system has provided the so-called 'scientific' justification... sanction for the manipulation and exploitation of nature that has characterised Western culture.

For four hundred years the empirical approach and its mathematical description of nature have remained important criteria of scientific theories.

The soul was believed to be free and immortal, not governed by mechanical laws and not able to be described by science. This notion was useful at the time because it allowed for scientific investigation which was free from the authority of the church.

The Cartesian mentality and worldview has given to Western civilization its characteristic features. amongst others, scientific goals are directed to the control of nature and human nature.

Western 'Science' .

The Cartesian division between mind and matter has had a profound effect on Western thought. Descartes' naive model of the psyche taught us to be aware of ourselves as isolated 'egos' existing 'inside' our bodies; it led us to set a higher value on mental than on manual work. Experiences of human feelings, human motives, human goals, human values have been ignored. Implications for education: In the present shift of scientific paradigm, dualistic concepts such as 'unconscious matter' and 'conscious spirit' are being replaced by holistic concepts such as 'consciousness'. A parallel shift in the paradigm of education is replacing traditional education with holistic education.  Descartes' naive models of the 'psyche' led to the mechanistic model of the founder of psychoanalysis Freud. Freud defined the human psyche in terms of the separate existence of the 'id', the 'ego' and the 'superego'. The mind-matter dualism became an obstacle to progress in psychology because it placed mental phenomena of consciousness - moral consciousness or 'conscience' - outside of ordinary physical reality and thus outside of the domain of the natural sciences. 

Overemphasis on the Cartesian method ...led to 'reductionism' in science ...the general belief that complex phenomena can be understood by reducing them to their constituent parts ...i.e. fragmentation...

Misunderstanding of importance of human needs as human motives or 'values' in mature growth or 'self-actualisation': The lack of respect for human values has prevented progress in the human sciences including the science of education. In the present shift of scientific paradigm from reductionism to holistic science  dualistic concepts such as 'unconscious matter' and 'conscious spirit' are being replaced by holistic concepts such as 'consciousness'. A parallel shift in the paradigm of education is replacing traditional education with holistic education.  We need to abandon the dualistic concept of unconscious matter and conscious spirit, and to adopt holistic concepts of the holistic worldview.

 

The organic worldview of the Middle Ages had implied a value system conducive to ecological behaviour. With the rationalism of Descartes, the scientist was perceived as an 'objective' observer whose job it was to measure the objects, and then explain the causes for their interactions and discover the laws of nature. And in the 19th century the mind-matter dualism became an obstacle because it placed consciousness and other mental phenomena outside of ordinary physical reality and thus outside of the domain of the natural sciences.

  The new mentality and the new perception of the cosmos led to the characteristic features of Western civilization of the modern era. They became the basis of the paradigm that has dominated our culture for the past three hundred years and is now about to change.

In subsequent centuries scientists omitted any explicit reference to God and developed their theories according to the Cartesian division, the humanities concentrating on the 'res cogitans' and the natural sciences on the 'res extensa.'

 We need to abandon the dualistic concept of unconscious matter and conscious spirit, and to adopt holistic concepts of the holistic worldview.

"Descartes has taught those who came after him how to discover his own errors." (Montesqieu)

 The Cartesian view of the universe as a mechanical system provided a 'scientific' sanction for the manipulation and exploitation of nature that has become typical of Western culture.With the scientific revolution and the 'heretical' view of the universe set in motion by a Creator, the Christian worldview was supplanted by the worldview of modern science. Man was perceived as separate from nature and in a position to control nature in the interest of humankind. The new mentality and the new perception of the cosmos gave our Western civilization the features that are characteristic of the modern era. They became the basis of the paradigm that has dominated our culture for the past three hundred years and is now about to change.

The scientific study of the universe and Cartesian dogma replaced the authority of Aristotle and the dogma of the Church. The dualistic notion of 'mind-body' and the analytic method of Descartes resulted in the replacement of an organic universe with a mechanical universe produced by divine reason. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, studies of the nervous system replaced the naive models of the psyche with the mechanistic models of 'psychology'. For four hundred years, the study of the human mind has emphasized underlying mechanisms and ignored experiences of feelings and consciousness. For four hundred years the goals of science have been directed to the control of nature and human nature. Scientific paradigms have produced the root metaphors of modern Western culture. Overemphasis on the metaphors of a man-centered mechanistic universe, dualistic reality, neutral technology and individualism has resulted in today's multifacted global crisis. Descartes shared Bacon's view that the aim of science was the domination and control of nature.

 Sixteenth and seventeenth centuries  In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries there was a radical change in the 'medieval worldview' or 'paradigm'. The notion of an organic, living and spiritual universe was replaced by that of the world as a machine. It was the world machine which became the dominant metaphor of the modern era. This development was brought about by revolutionary changes in physics and astronomy, culminating in the achievements of Copernicus, Galileo and Newton. Isaac Newton (1642-1727) was born in England in the same year that Galileo died. In seventeenth century science before Newton there had been two opposing methods of science - the empirical inductive method’ and the rational ‘deductive method’.

empirical science - logic revived in the service of secular society... ideology of 'positivism' as combination of  empiricism and logic has guided the development of modernist culture.

"It is important to appreciate what the new rational ideology accomplished. It challenged the dogma and rigidity of medieval Scholaticism, releasing humanity from centuries of superstition and oppression by a powerful priesthood. Nature was comprehended and brought under increasing control, harnessed to meet the growing material demands of an expanding middle class. A powerful affiliation of science, the Protestant Reformation, and a rising mercantile class shattered existing religious and civic hierarchies and paved the way for democratic forms of social organization. Enlightenment thought was essential to the development of social freedoms. Yet this new way of apprehending reality and the historic social forms such apprehension assumed contained the seeds of their own reversal... The extreme form is the debasement of nature and the total alienation of man from nature. With Hitler, the rejection of Enlightenment reason and exaltation of nature. "Hitler appealed to the unconscious in his audiences by hinting that he could forge a power in whose name repressed nature would be lifted. In this way, repressed natural drives were harnessed to the needs of Nazi rationalism." (Kathleen Kesson. Critical Theory and Holistic Education: Carrying on the Conversation in Ron Miller et al. The Renewal of Meaning in Education: Responses to the Cultural and Ecological Crisis of our Times. p. 99)

 Acknowledging the crucial role of science in bringing about these far-reaching changes, historians have called the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the Age of the Scientific Revolution.

Descartes created the conceptual framework for seventeenth science but his view of nature as a perfect machine remained a vision during his lifetime. The man who realized the Cartesian dream and completed the Scientific Revolution was Isaac Newton.

 Newton and the 'mechanical universe'. It was Newton who realized the 'Cartesian dream' and completed the 'Scientific Revolution'. Newton developed a complete mathematical formulation of the mechanistic view of nature. He formulated a theory of mechanics which contained three laws and one assumption.

Newtonian physics which was the crowning achievement of seventeenth century science, provided a  consistent mathematical theory of the world that remained the solid foundation of scientific thought well into the twentieth century.

  " Newton unified the two trends and developed the methodology upon which natural science has been based ever since. ...The stage of the Newtonian universe , on which all physical phenomena took place, was the threedimensional space of classical Euclidean geometry. All changes in the physical world were described in terms of a separate dimension, time,which again was absolute having no connection with the material world and flowing smoothly from the past through the present to the future. Thge elements of the Newtonian world which moved in this absolute space and absolute time were material particles....The Newtonian model of matter was atomistic...all the particles were thought to be made of the same material substance. ..The motion of the particles was caused by the force of gravity which acted instantaneously over a distance....both the particles and the force of gravity created by God... The physical phenomena themselves were not thought to be divine in any sense, and when science made it more and more dificult to believe in such a god, the divine disappeared completly from the scientific worldview, leaving behind the spiritual vacuum that has become characteristic of the mainstream of our culture. The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries used Newtonian mechanics with tremendous success... The picture of the world as a perfect machine, which had been introduced by Descartes, was now considered a proved fact and Newton became its symbol." (Capra The Turning Point 67)

                                                                                                                                                 Francis Bacon and 'inductive method'...   Descartes and 'deductive method'...   Newton and 'scientific method'...

laws of motion...   law of gravity...

 shift from Newtonian mechanics to quantum mechanics...

The inductive method was devised by Francis Bacon  The inductive method involved empirical observation, systematic experimentation, experimental evidence and inductive reasoning - a theory making process devised by Francis Bacon. Bacon’s inductive method was effective within the framework of the paradigm based on the notion that the understanding of the physical world depends on understanding its determinate laws of cause and effect i.e. ‘determinism’.

The deductive method was defined by Rene Descartes  The deductive method was a  theory-making process defined by Rene Descartes who had created the conceptual framework for seventeenth century science with his view of nature as a perfect machine - a view which remained a vision during his lifetime. The deductive method involved deduction from first principles... deductive reasoning,  systematic interpretation and mathematical analysis.  

Newton emphasized that neither method by itself would lead to reliable theory and went beyond both Bacon and Descartes.

Newton combined the two methods Newton claimed that reliable theory is derived from the correct combination of the both inductive and deductive methods.  Experimental evidence of the inductive method should be combined with the systematic interpretation by deduction from first principles i.e. deductive logic from a given premise. Newton combined deductive logic from a given premise with inductive reasoning from empirical observation and from the combination he derived a tentative premise known as a 'hypothesis'. The hypothesis had substantiated with evidence... It had to be tested with empirical observation and experiment to be validated. The job of the scientist was to be an 'objective' observer, measure the objects, and then explain the causes for their interactions. This was how the laws of nature were thought to be discovered. In unifying the two methods Newton developed the methodology upon which natural science has been based ever since... 'scientific method'...

Quest for understanding natural law depends on experiment (empirical observations or 'facts') and reasoning Newton taught that the quest for the further understanding of reality would only be possible if it were based on the notion that the universe is governed by laws which can be understood rationally and which can be applied experimentally as well.

Since only simple interactions could be tested, modern science developed as the science of Galileo and Newton. It could handle relatively simple relationships between forces or bodies, and it presented a world picture of a universe that is reducible to such relationships in all essential respects.

Newtonian science looked upon the physical universe as an exquisitely designed giant mechanism, obeying elegant deterministic laws of motion. Complex sets of events could be understood by this science only when broken down to their elementary interactions. Whatever was clearly known behaved like a reliable mechanism and the rest was assumed to do likewise (with the possible exception of 'mind' - a phenomenon which Newtonian science could not even begin to comprehend).

  First law of motion  Newton's first great contribution to science was the 'law of motion' which stated that an object moving in a straight line will continue to do so forever unless acted upon by an  external force. Furthermore, the direction and speed of a moving object will be altered according to the direction, mass and speed of the force acting upon it.

Law of 'gravity'  Newton's second great contribution was the 'law of gravity' which stated that the same force pulling an apple downward keeps the moon in orbit around the earth and the planets around the sun.

  laid the foundation for higher mathematics, celestial mechanics and physical optics. His method : combining deductive logic with reason he extracted a tentative premise - the hypothesis. The theory of gravitation - hypothesis - was tested with empirical observation.

 

When he was twenty three years old, Newton used the process of induction to  correlate the observations of Copernicus, Kepler, Bacon, Galileo, and Descartes and accomplished a synthesis of their works. Kepler had derived empirical laws of planetary motion by studying astronomical tables ... Galileo had performed ingenious experiments to discover the laws of falling bodies. Newton combined those two discoveries...According to legend, the decisive insight occurred to Newton in a sudden flash of inspiration when he saw an apple fall from a tree. He realized that the apple was pulled toward the earth by the same force that pulled the planets toward the sun. This was

the key to his grand synthesis - his theory of gravitation – which was the formulation of the general laws of motion governing all objects in the solar system, from stones to planets.  Newton's theory of gravitation was originally a hypothesis which was tested with empirical observation. According to the theory of gravitation, the universe - the 'Newtonian universe' - in which all physical phenomena took place, was perceived in terms of the 'three dimensional space' of classical Euclidean geometry. All changes in the physical world were described in terms of a separate fourth dimension - 'time' - which was considered to be separate from the three dimensions of space. As a separate dimension, time was thought to have no connection with the material world and was perceived as flowing smoothly from a past through a present and towards a future. Time was an absolute.

Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy (Principia)  Newton presented his theory to the world in great detail in his Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy. He described the mixture of both methods in his Principia as the work is usually called for short after its original Latin title. The Principia comprises a comprehensive system of definitions, propositions, and proofs which scientists regarded as the correct description of nature for more than two hundred years.With his work, he laid the foundation for higher mathematics, celestial mechanics and physical optics. His theories were used to describe the movements of the planets, the formation of tides, the paths of cannonballs, and many other phenomena in a mechanical universe. The picture of the world as a perfect machine, which had been introduced by Descartes, was now considered a proved fact and Newton became its symbol.

Newton's model of matter was atomistic Using his own mathematics, he tested his ideas and compared his predictions with observations made by astronomers, thus demonstrating that both earthly and celestial masses are governed by the same laws of motion and gravity. The world was thought to be a mechanism, made up of a large number of uniformly behaving parts.

 Newton's model of the matter in the universe was 'atomistic'. The elements of the Newtonian universe which moved in absolute space and absolute time were material particles all thought to be made of the same material substance. The motion of the particles was assumed to be caused by the force of gravity acting instantaneously over a distance. Both the particles and the force of gravity were believed to be created by God but the physical phenomena themselves were not thought to be divine in any sense.

 Continued progress in science made it more and more difficult to believe in a God and eventually the divine disappeared completely from the scientific worldview.     

Newton's 'mechanics' was crowning achievement of seventeenth century science Newtonian mechanics was the crowning achievement of seventeenth century science. It provided a consistent mathematical theory of the world that remained the solid foundation of scientific thought in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries when it was used with tremendous success.

Consider Newton's theories in their historical context   Looking at Newton's theories in their historical context, one can appreciate that they were remarkable. He based his theories on sound experimental evidence and described events which were unobservable in the l600s.

Newton's physics was a direct challenge to the power of the church which had been considerable for fifteen hundred years.

 Consider the philosophical implications of Newtonian physics. His new science which he called 'natural philosophy' vindicated the importance of the human individual in the universe.

 Newton interpreted his physical laws as manifestations of 'God's perfection'... Newton regarded the  universe as a great machine. Contrary to the authoritarian position of the church, his criteria for the validity of a hypothesis was the ability to reproduce the experiment and get the same results. During the Inquisition and shortly before Newton's birth, Galileo had been forced to recant his theory of the revolution of the earth around the sun. His philosophical viewpoint justified the notion that predictions about the future could be made on the basis of an understanding of events in the present.

 But in time even the paradigm of Newtonian mechanics was called into question.

End of nineteenth century  At the end of the nineteenth century Newtonian mechanics had lost its role as the fundamental theory of natural phenomena. Concepts that clearly went beyond the Newtonian model indicated that the universe was far more complex than Descartes and Newton had imagined such as Maxwell's electrodynamics and Darwin's theory of evolution.

Nevertheless, the basic ideas underlying Newtonian physics, though sufficient to explain all natural phenomena, were still believed to be correct.

Radical change... paradigm shift... first three decades of twentieth century  The first three decades of the twenty-first century changed this situation radically. Two developments in physics, culminating in relativity theory and in quantum theory, shattered all the principal concepts of the  worldview of Descartes (Cartesian worldview) and the mechanical worldview of Newton (Newtonian mechanics). Doubts were raised about the  beliefs in the strictly mechanical view of nature, the separateness and pure objectivity of the observer or 'scientist', and the infallibility of induction as a theory-making process. In physics the  mechanistic paradigm had to be abandoned at the level of the very small – in atomic and subatomic physics – and the level of the very large - in astrophysics and cosmology. There followed a paradigm shift from the science of mechanics to the science of interconnectedness and wholeness or holistic science      

         

Newton's theories considered in their historical context were remarkable... he described events which were unobservable in the l600s and based his theories on sound experimental evidence.

He introduced a determinism  in thinking about the universe which marked the final downfall of the ancient cosmologies and the theologies associated with them thus freeing the human mind for scientific progress. He formulated a theory of mechanics... developed a complete mathematical formulation of the mechanistic view of nature... mathematical theory of nature thus realising the dream of Descartes... 'Cartesian dream'... and completing the 'Scientific Revolution'. Newtonian physics remained the solid foundation of scientific thought well into the twentieth century.

 Isaac Newton (1642-1727) was born in England 1642, the year of Galileo's death. During the Inquisition Galileo had been forced to recant the Copernican theory of the revolution of the earth around the sun. Newton's physics which he interpreted as manifestations of 'God's perfection'.. was a direct challenge to the authoritarian position... power of the church which had been considerable for fifteen hundred years. Newton inherited the view of the universe based on the three-dimensional space of classical Euclidean geometry. According to this paradigm, all changes in the physical world were described in terms of a separate dimension, time,which again was absolute having no connection with the material world and flowing smoothly from the past through the present to the future. The elements of the Newtonian world which moved in this absolute space and absolute time were material particles. As a result, the Newtonian model of matter in the universe was atomistic...The elements of the Newtonian universe which moved in absolute space and absolute time were material particles all thought to be made of the same material substance. The motion of the particles was assumed to be caused by the force of gravity acting instantaneously over a distance. Both the particles and the force of gravity were believed to be created by God but the physical phenomena themselves were not thought to be divine in any sense. and when science made it more and more dificult to believe in such a god, the 'divine' disappeared completely from the scientific worldview, leaving behind the spiritual vacuum that has become characteristic of the mainstream of our culture.

Newton and the tentative premise or 'hypothesis'...

In seventeenth century science before Newton there had been two opposing methods of science or 'theory making processes'. One was the empirical inductive method’ of Francis Bacon and the other was the rational ‘deductive method’ of Rene Descartes. Descartes had created the conceptual framework for seventeenth century science with his view of nature as a perfect machine - a view which remained a vision during his lifetime. The deductive method involved deduction from first principles... deductive reasoning,  systematic interpretation and mathematical analysis.  Bacon’s inductive method involved empirical observation, systematic experimentation, experimental evidence and inductive reasoning.  The inductive method was effective within the framework of the paradigm based on the notion that the understanding of the physical world depends on understanding its determinate laws of cause and effect i.e. ‘determinism’.  When he was twenty three years old Newton laid the foundation for higher mathematics, celestial mechanics and physical optics. His method : combining deductive logic with reason he extracted a tentative premise - the hypothesis. The theory of gravitation - hypothesis - was tested with empirical observation.  

 Newton went beyond both Bacon (inductive method) and Descartes (deductive method) and emphasized that neither method was adequate by itself. Systematic experimentation (Bacon) without systematic interpretation (Descartes) nor deduction from first principles (Descartes) without experimental evidence (Bacon) leads to reliable theory. A reliable theory making process depends on the correct combination of both inductive and deductive methods. Experimental evidence or 'empirical observation' of the inductive method... inductive reasoning... should be combined with the systematic interpretation or 'mathematical analysis'... deduction from first principles... deductive logic from a given premise. Newton combined the two methods and developed the methodology upon which natural science has been based ever since... a method  based on the formulation of a tentative premise or 'hypothesis' to be tested with experimention.. the so-called'scientific method'. The function of the scientific method was to test the validity of a hypothesis in terms of one's ability to substantiate it  with evidence... to reproduce the same experimental result... to validated it with empirical observation and experiment.

 His philosophical viewpoint justified the notion that predictions about the future could be made on the basis of an understanding of events in the present. His new science which he called 'natural philosophy' vindicated the importance of the human individual in the universe.  The job of the scientist was to be an 'objective' observer, measure the objects, and then explain the causes for their interactions.This was how the laws of nature were thought to be discovered. He described the mixture of both methods in his Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy or Principia as the work is usually called for short after its original Latin title. .. comprises a comprehensive system of definitions, propositions, and proofs which were regarded as the correct description of nature for more than two hundred years.

 With his work, he laid the foundation for higher mathematics, celestial mechanics and physical optics.

His theories were used to describe the movements of the planets, the formation of tides, the paths of cannonballs, and many other phenomena in a mechanical universe

 As a result of Newton's success, the nineteenth century mathematician Pierre de LaPlace predicted the deduction of a single mathematical formula to describe nature. And the cosmologist Stephen Hawking has recently predicted the resolution of major problems in physics by the end of this century. With time, the belief in the strictly mechanical view of nature, in the separateness and pure objectivity of the scientist, and in the infallibility of induction as a theory making process was called into question. The nineteenth century British empiricists John Locke, Bishop George Berkeley and David Hume had emphasized that knowledge is derived from the observer's sensations. The early twentieth century theories, relativity and quantum theory, "cast doubt over whether or to what extent a scientist is separate from what he observes and hence raised questions about the meaning of objectivity."(21) As a theory making process defined by Bacon and applied by Newton, 'induction' was effective within the philosophical framework of determinism (matter is governed by determinate laws of cause and effect). Subatomic events described by the new quantum theory were determined by laws of probability. Observers of nature, the working scientists, required a new philosophical framework (indeterminism) and an appropriate theory making process. ... development of the 'paradigm shift' from Newtonian mechanics to quantum theory and the 'looking-glass universe'.

According to Newtonian mechanics, the universe was a 'great machine' or giant mechanism made up of uniformly behaving bodies and forces. The laws of motion were determined by simple relationships between them. Man was perceived as separate from nature and in a position to control it. 'Science' was recognized as a human activity involving a set of basic metaphysical assumptions.... First, objectivism - the observer and the observed are separate; second, reductionism - all complex phenomena can be explained in terms of simple phenomena; third, positivism - all scientific knowledge can be derived from physically measurable data; and fourth, determinism - it is possible to predict phenomena on the basis of scientific laws. Within the framework of these assumptions, scientists made models of the physical world. Using a 'scientific method,' they postulated hypotheses and designed experiments to test their models. Analysing the data, they arrived at conclusions which formed the basis of their description of the physical world. In this process of so-called 'logical empiricism,' the observer of reality experienced the world objectively. Based on the well established assumptions of objectivism, reductionism, positivism and determinism, the methods of modern science have become established as an orthodox reductionist science..

He used the process of induction to correlate the observations of Nicolaus Copernicus, Tycho Brahe, Johannes Kepler and other scientists to formulate a theory of mechanics which contained three laws and one assumption.

philosophical implications of Newtonian physics and quantum mechanics.

Looking at Newton's theories in their historical context, one can appreciate that they were remarkable. Basing his theories on sound experimental evidence, he described events which were unobservable in the l600s. Contrary to the authoritarian position of the church, his criteria for the validity of a hypothesis was the ability to reproduce the experiment and get the same results. Newton's physics was a direct challenge to the power of the church which had been considerable for fifteen hundred years. During the Inquisition and shortly before Newton's birth, Galileo had been forced to recant his theory of the revolution of the earth around the sun. Newton taught that the universe is governed by laws which can be understood rationally and applied experimentally in the quest for the further understanding of reality. The new science which vindicated man's importance in the universe was called "Natural Philosophy." Interpreting his physical laws as manifestations of "God's perfection", Newton regarded the universe as a great machine. His philosophical viewpoint justified the notion that predictions about the future could be made on the basis of an understanding of events in the present. His first great contribution to science was the law of motion which stated that an object moving in a straight line will continue to do so forever unless acted upon by an external force. Furthermore, the direction and speed of a moving object will be altered according to the direction, mass and speed of the force acting upon it. His second great contribution was the law of gravity which stated that the same force pulling an apple downward keeps the moon in orbit around the earth and the planets around the sun. Using his own mathematics, he tested his ideas and compared his predictions with observations made by astronomers, thus demonstrating that both earthly and celestial masses are governed by the same laws of motion and gravity.

Development of the 'paradigm shift' from Newtonian mechanics to quantum theory and the 'looking-glass universe'.   

The traditional idea of the progress of science is that scientific knowledge can be acquired through the process of 'induction'. It is derived from the writings of Francis Bacon, a seventeenth century 'natural philosopher', who argued that the methods of natural philosophy should not be based on 'deduction' from the preconceived notions of Aristotle or the Church. Bacon taught that the guide to knowledge is experience rather than the appeal to authority.

Believing in the separateness of the observer and the observed, the sixteenth century thinker Rene Descartes provided the metaphysical basis for Bacon's theory making process of induction. The function of the scientist was to be a separate observer, to be 'objective', to measure the objects, and then to explain the causes for their interactions, to discover the laws of nature.

 Using the process of induction to correlate the observations of Nicolaus Copernicus, Tycho Brahe, Johannes Kepler and other scientists, Isaac Newton formulated a theory of mechanics which contained three laws and one assumption. The theory was used to describe the movements of the planets, the formation of tides, the paths of cannonballs, and many other phenomena in a seemingly mechanical universe. As a result of Newton's success, the nineteenth century mathematician Pierre de LaPlace predicted the deduction of a single mathematical formula to describe nature. And the cosmologist Stephen Hawking has recently predicted the resolution of major problems in physics by the end of this century. 

   With time, the belief in the strictly mechanical view of nature, in the separateness and pure objectivity of the scientist, and in the infallibility of induction as a theory making process was called into question. The nineteenth century British empiricists John Locke, Bishop George Berkeley and David Hume had emphasized that knowledge is derived from the observer's sensations.

 Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Bacon, and Descartes developed a complete mathematical formulation of the mechanistic view of nature, and thus accomplished a synthesis of their works... the formulation of the general laws of motion governing all objects in the solar system, from stones to planets... the 'grand synthesis'. Kepler had derived empirical laws of planetary motion by studying astronomical tables ... Galileo had performed ingenious experiments to discover the laws of falling bodies. Newton combined those two discoveries...(linked the falling apple... Galileo... with the rotation of the planets... Kepler)  in his formulation of the law of universal gravitation which states that the force between two bodies is proportional to their masses and varies inversely as the square of the distance between them.According to legend, the decisive insight occurred to Newton in a sudden flash of inspiration when he saw an apple fall from a tree... realized that the apple was pulled toward the earth by the same force that pulled the planets toward the sun, and thus found the key to his grand synthesis... the same force pulling an apple downward keeps the moon in orbit around the earth and the planets around the sun.

Newton's theory of gravitation was originally a hypothesis which he tested with empirical observation. According to the theory of gravitation, the universe - the 'Newtonian universe' - in which all physical phenomena took place, was perceived in terms of the 'three dimensional space' of classical Euclidean geometry. All changes in the physical world were described in terms of a separate fourth dimension - 'time' - considered to be separate from the three dimensions of space. As a separate dimension, time was thought to have no connection with the material world... thought to flow smoothly from a past through a present and towards a future. Time was an absolute.

   Quest for understanding natural law depends on experiment (empirical observations or facts') and reasoning Newton taught that the quest for the further understanding of reality would only be possible if it were based on the notion that the universe is governed by laws which can be understood rationally and which can be applied experimentally as well.

Since only simple interactions could be tested, modern science developed as the science of Galileo and Newton. It could handle relatively simple relationships between forces or bodies, and it presented a world picture of a universe that is reducible to such relationships in all essential respects.

Newtonian science looked upon the physical universe as an exquisitely designed giant mechanism, obeying elegant deterministic laws of motion. Complex sets of events could be understood by this science only when broken down to their elementary interactions.

Whatever was clearly known behaved like a reliable mechanism and the rest was assumed to do likewise (with the possible exception of 'mind' - a phenomenon which Newtonian science could not even begin to comprehend).

Newton's first great contribution to science was the definition of the 'laws of motion': an object moving in a straight line will continue to do so forever unless acted upon by an external force, the direction and speed of a moving object will be altered according to the direction, mass and speed of the force acting upon it.Using his own mathematics, he tested his ideas and compared his predictions with observations made by astronomers, thus demonstrating that both earthly and celestial masses are governed by the same laws of motion and gravity. The world was thought to be a mechanism, made up of a large number of uniformly behaving parts. Continued progress in science made it more and more difficult to believe in a God and eventually the divine disappeared completely from the scientific worldview.... leaving behind the spiritual vacuum that has become characteristic of the mainstream of our culture. The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries used Newtonian mechanics with tremendous success. ...The picture of the world as a perfect machine, which had been introduced by Descartes, was now considered a proved fact and Newton became its symbol.

Newtonian physics was the crowning achievement of seventeenth century science. It provided a consistent mathematical theory of the world that remained the solid foundation of scientific thought in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries when it was used with tremendous success. The new mentality and the new perception of the cosmos gave our Western civilization the features that are characteristic of the modern era. They became the basis of the worldview or 'paradigm' that has dominated our culture for the past three hundred years and is now about to change. The empirical approach with the use of a mathematical description of nature have remained important criteria of scientific theories up to the present day. The scientist's obsession with measurement and quantification during the past four hundred years has exacted a heavy toll. Experiences of feelings, motives, intentions, consciousness, spirit, values have been ignored.. The Cartesian view of the universe as a mechanical system provided a 'scientific' sanction for the manipulation and exploitation of nature that has become typical of Western culture.

"The picture of the world as a perfect machine, which had been introduced by Descartes, was now considered a proved fact and Newton became its symbol." (Capra The Turning Point 67) Nevertheless in time even the paradigm of Newtonian mechanics was called into question.

 

 Scientific method as 'maturity'... Deductive reasoning as form of reasoning of the immature mind ... seeing reality the way that one imagines it should be and not the way it is. Reality is awareness or 'consciousness'.

 Complete or 'mature' human development is a function of emotional, intellectual, psychological and moral or 'spiritual' development ... development of moral consciousness or 'conscience'. A mature individual understands the value of error...

"A mature individual does not resent correction, for he identifies himself more with the long range self that grows through correction than with the momentary self that is being indicted." (Maslow Towards a Psychology of Being 49)

"The most recent of the great insights that have invited man to maturity came with the development of science. The scientific method is not commonly regarded as an insight into human nature; but this, in its essence, is what it is. It is a systematized expression of the fact that man is a species capable of transcending his own limitations of sense and of subjectivity (self-transcendance')... Maturity is having a philosophic sense of the whole. (Henry Overstreet The Mature Mind)

 

   Classical science...orthodox reductionist science or 'scientism'. Many scientists make the mistake of confusing the definition of modern science with the assumptions upon which it is based. They believe that any knowledge system which does not account for these assumptions must not be in the realm of 'science.'

According to the worldview of reductionist science, scientific reality is perceived objectively without the participation of the observer. There is no recognition for the scientific reality of the human inner life. Scientific methodology is based on the assumption that the process of observation involves the detachment of the observer. Of great significance in the Western tradition, this quality of detachment from the objective world is the origin of the concept of individuality and individual freedom. The price has been a sense of alienation from the outer world - a loss of the sense of 'oneness' with the universe, a loss of the wholistic perspective. In the extreme form of detachment, the individual treats other human beings as objects. 

 Science is a human activity. Scientists make models of the physical world. On the basis of certain metaphysical assumptions, they design experiments to test their models. Using guidelines formulated within the framework of a given value system, they carry out experiments to test their models. The metaphysical assumptions which form the foundation of modern science (logical empiricism) include the following: the observer and the observed are separate entities (objectivism), complex phenomena can be explained in terms of simple phenomena (reductionism), all scientific knowledge can be derived from physically measurable data (positivism), and it is possible to predict phenomena on the basis of scientific laws (determinism). These assumptions have become so well established that many scientists make the mistake of confusing them with the definition of modern science. They believe that any knowledge system that does not account for these assumptions must not be in the realm of 'science.'

 

Positivism and Auguste Compte Auguste Compte associated with the beginnings of the "positivist" movement, born in Montpelier in l798. He idolized Benjamin Franklin and called him the "modern Socrates." He held the idea that social, like physical phenomena, might be explained by scientific rationality, and that one of the functions of philosophy (philosophical thought) should be to contribute ideas for the resolution of moral and political problems of mankind. He wrote a five volume work entitled "Positive Philosophy" and a four volume work entitled "Positive Polity." He classified the sciences in the order in which the scientific method was applied to the study of the subject matter, thus mathematics, astronomy, physics, chemistry, biology, and sociology. Historians could see three stages of development. At first,the subject was conceived in terms of problems explained by the will of some deity ("Will of God") and this was the theological perception. Next the subject was conceived in terms of problems explained by metaphysical abstraction (examples, Plato's "Ideas", Hegel's "Absolute Idea", stars moved in circles because circles were the most perfect figure). Finally the subject was conceived in terms of problems explained by precise observation, hypothesis and experiment. The scientific method was applied in the study of problems, which were then explained in terms of scientific theories and "laws" describing the regularities of natural cause and effect. Auguste Comte said that it was time for philosophers to abandon metaphysics and look to science; that philosophy was not different from science, but was the coordination of the sciences and its function was to improve human life. This was "Positivism."

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    Implications for education... the worldview of reductionist science has shaped the goals of education. Educational methodology which is formulated within the context of this worldview does not recognize the scientific reality of the human inner life. Pedagogical principles have been formulated with a view to the learner's detachment in the learning process.   The scientific process of logical empiricism has shaped the perception of the learning process. With a bias towards completely 'objective' knowledge, scientific methodology has directly influenced the educational methodology. The aims of education have been formulalted in terms of the acquisition and measurement of 'objective' knowledge. The assumption is made that cognitive knowledge can only be measured with objective testing methods. The objectives of coursework and classwork have been described in terms of test-taking skills and test performance. The value of knowledge has been measured in terms of its objectives and its usefulness. In the context of this scientific paradigm and worldview, the objective scientific reality of 'being human'is defined in terms of objective scientific reality. It is not defined in terms of the intrinsic nature and value of what it is to be human. Cognitive knowledge is not considered in terms of its intrinsic value to the development of the human potential. Nor is it considered in terms of the enrichment of the human life or the inner life. Educational policy formulated in the context of the modern scientific worldview disregards knowledge systems which are not considered to be in the realm of 'science'. There are indications that the basic assumptions of the reductionist worldview are being reexamined and a fundamental change is taking place.

 

Nineteenth century

 Auguste Compte and 'positivism'... with his 'positive philosophy' claimed that only the 'positive' sciences - natural, mental and social phenomena studied by empirical methods -should be called 'sciences'. According to his 'positive philosophy', philosophy is speculation and religion superstition. The ideology of positivism combined logic with empiricism in the service of secular society... has guided the development of modernist culture.

At the end of the nineteenth century Newtonian mechanics had lost its role as the fundamental theory of natural phenomena. These involved concepts involved concepts that clearly went beyond the Newtonian model and indicated that the universe was far more complex than Descartes and Newton had imagined such as Maxwell's electrodynamics and Darwin's theory of evolution.  Nevertheless, the basic ideas underlying Newtonian physics, though sufficient to explain all natural phenomena, were still believed to be correct.  The first three decades of the 20th century changed this situation radically.  Two developments in physics, culminating in relativity theory and in quantum theory, shattered all the principal concepts of the  worldview of Descartes (Cartesian worldview) and the mechanical worldview of Newton (Newtonian mechanics). In physics the mechanistic paradigm had to be abandoned at the level of the very small (in atomic and subatomic physics) and the level of the very large (in astrophysics and cosmology) Doubts were raised about the  beliefs in the strictly mechanical view of nature, the separateness and pure objectivity of the observer or 'scientist', and the infallibility of induction as a theory-making process. In physics the  mechanistic paradigm had to be abandoned at the level of the very small – in atomic and subatomic physics – and the level of the very large - in astrophysics and cosmology. There followed a paradigm shift from the science of mechanics to the science of interconnectedness and wholeness or ‘holistic science’

 Early twentieth century: radical change in first three decades ...  the mechanistic view of the physical world was challenged by relativity theory of Einstein and quantum theory. Since then, new laws of integrated wholes have been postulated. In the early decades of the twentieth century a great paradigm shift occurred from Newtonian mechanics to quantum mechanics the mechanistic view of the physical world was challenged by two important achievements: Einstein's theory of relativity and quantum theory led by Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg, Erwin Schrodinger...

The early twentieth century theories, relativity and quantum theory, "cast doubt over whether or to what extent a scientist is separate from what he observes and hence raised questions about the meaning of objectivity."(21) As a theory making process defined by Bacon and applied by Newton, 'induction' was effective within the philosophical framework of determinism (matter is governed by determinate laws of cause and effect).

Albert Einstein and the quantum theory of light In l921 at age twenty six, Albert Einstein received the Nobel Prize in l921 for the work describing his theory of the quantum nature of light. The properties of light could also be explained in terms of the 'discontinuous' basic structure of nature. Planck had described how energy is absorbed and emitted in packets called 'quanta'. Einstein demonstrated how light energy is absorbed and emitted in packets called 'photons'. Each photon of a given colour has a certain frequency and thus a certain amount of energy. Photons of high frequency light have more energy than photons of low-frequency light. He proved his theory with an experiment demonstrating the phenomenon known as the 'photoelectric effect'. When light hits the surface of a metal, electrons are loosened from the atoms in the metal. They escape in numbers which can be counted and at a velocity which can be measured. He based his revolutionary theory on the work of the l905 Nobel Prize winner Phillipe Lenard who showed that a flow of electrons begins immediately when impinging light strikes the target metal. He discovered that reducing the intensity of the impinging light would change the velocity of the escaping electrons. Einstein explained both these phenomena with his particle theory of light, providing a theoretical bridge between Newtonian physics and quantum mechanics.

At the turn of the century, the mechanistic view of the physical world was challenged by Einstein's theory of relativity and quantum theory. Einstein changed the concept of matter as substance... With Einstein's theory of matter as highly packaged energy (E=mc2), the concept of matter as substance was changed. Matter as transformable energy was conceived as process. The universe is not a collection of things so much as an interacting set of events or processes.

 The reality of matter and atoms was acceptable with Einstein's "well - testable theory that small particles suspended in a liquid (whose movements are visible through a microscope, and therefore 'real') moved as a result of the random impacts of the moving molecules of the liquid). Einstein conjectured that the then still invisibly small molecules exerted causal effects upon those very small yet 'ordinary' real things. This procivded good reasons for the reality of molecules and then further of atoms... This theory was written up in his 1905 paper on Brownian motion. Einstein changed the concept of matter as substance with his theory of matter as highly packaged energy (E=mc2). In l921 at age twenty six, Albert Einstein received the Nobel Prize in l921 for the work describing his theory of the quantum nature of light to explain the properties of light in the context of the 'discontinuous' basic structure of nature. Planck had described how energy is absorbed and emitted in packets called 'quanta'. Einstein demonstrated how light energy is absorbed and emitted in packets called 'photons'. Each photon of a given color has a certain frequency and thus a certain amount of energy. Photons of high frequency light have more energy than photons of low-frequency light. He proved his theory with an experiment demonstrating the phenomenon known as the 'photoelectric effect'. When light hits the surface of a metal, electrons are loosened from the atoms in the metal. They escape in numbers which can be counted and at a velocity which can be measured. He based his revolutionary theory on the work of the l905 Nobel Prize winner Phillipe Lenard who showed that a flow of electrons begins immediately when impinging light strikes the target metal. He discovered that reducing the intensity of the impinging light would change the velocity of the escaping electrons.

Einstein explained both these phenomena with his particle theory of light, providing a theoretical bridge between Newtonian physics and quantum mechanics.

Since then, new laws of integrated wholes have been postulated... the laws of natural systems of organized complexity  'systems theory'... 'systems approach'... 'whole-system perspective'... 'holistic perspective'... 'holistic perception'

 

Erwin Schrodinger was intrigued when Einstein received news that a French student de Broglie speculated on the possibility of electrons as particles display wave-like behaviour on the basis of the fact that light waves had been shown to display particle-like behaviour as 'photons.'  He wondered if it would be possible to 'calculate the movement of the electron wave?' He then demonstrated with an abstract mathematical picture called the 'wave function' that the hydrogen atom's singular electron as a 'standing wave' had the same wave frequencies as those for Bohr's fixed orbits and their energies were equal to Heisenberg's calculated frequencies. Schrodinger's former professor Max Born pointed out that the wave solutions were waves of probability. Consequently Schrodinger's equations described the probabilities of observing electrons in a given time and place. Physicists were made aware of a very subtle aspect of the reality of the  universe - a reality which could not be visualized

 

Strict adherence to falsification testing would not account for necessary modification and adjustment of theories and assumption in the event of errors and unknown complexity of factors intervening in an experimental situation.

Significance of Relativity Theory The concept of matter as substance was changed with Einstein's theory of matter as highly packaged as transformable energy (E=mc2)... matter was conceived as process.

Relativity theory has made the cosmic web come alive, so to speak, by revealing its intrinsically dynamic character; by showing that its activity is the very essence of its being. In modern physics the image of the universe as a machine has been transcended by a view of it as one indivisible, dynamic whole whose parts are essentially interrelated and can be understood only as patterns of a cosmic porcess. At the subatomic level the interrelatons and interactions between the parts of the whole are more fundamental than the parts themselves. There is motion but there are, ultimately, no moving objects; there is activity but there are no actors; there are no dancers, there is only the dance." (C "In quantum theory individual events do not always have a well defined cause. For example, the jump of an electron from one atomic orbit to another, or the disintegration of a subatomic particle, may occur spontaneously without any single event causing it. We can never predict when and how such a phenomenon is going to happen; we can only predict its probability. This does not mean that atomic events occur in completely arbitrary fashion; it means only that they are not brought about by local causes. The behaviour of any part is determined by its non-local connections to the whole, and since we do not know these connections precisely, we have to replace the narrow classical notion of cause and effect by the wider concept of statistical causality. The laws of atomic physics are statistical laws, according to which the probabilities for atomic events are determined by the dynamics of the whole system. Whereas in classical mechanics the properties and behaviour of the parts determine those of the whole, the situation is reversed in quantum mechanics; it is the whole that determines the behaviour of the parts." (Fritjof Capra. The Turning Point 86)

 But subatomic events described by the new quantum theory were shown to be determined by laws of probability. In quantum theory individual events do not always have a well defined cause. For example, the jummp of an electron from one atomic orbit to another, or the disintegration of a subatomic particle, may occur spontaneously without any single event causing it. We can never predict when and how such a phenomenon is going to happen; we can only predict its probability. This does not mean that atomic events occur in completely arbitrary fashion; it means only that they are not brought about by local causes. The behavior of any part is determined by its nonlocal connections to the whole, and since we do not know these connections precisely, we have to replace the narrow classical notion of cause and effect by the wider concept of statistical causality. The laws of atomic physics are statistical laws, according to which the probabilities for atomic events are determined by the dynamics of the whole system.

Whereas in classical mechanics the properties and behavior of the parts determine those of the whole, the situation is reversed in quantum mechanics; it is the whole that determines the behavior of the parts. Observers of nature, the working scientists, required a new philosophical framework and an appropriate theory making process. Early twentieth century theories of relativity and quantum mechanics raised questions about the observer's objectivity and the separateness of the scientist. Philosophical implications of Newtonian physics and quantum mechanics... scientific objectivity and dualism... wholistic perspective and Gaia hypothesis the development of the 'paradigm shift' from Newtonian mechanics to quantum theory 

 

  Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics: In the autumn of l927, physicists met in Brussels, Belgium to discuss the central philosophical issue of the new physics, quantum mechanics. The question discussed was the following: what should replace Newtonian physics as a philosophical basis for the study of subatomic phenomena? The laws governing individual events were discarded and the formulation decided upon was known as the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. According to this interpretation, quantum theory does not explain in detail what is going on in a particular event but it is complete because it works. It works because it correlates with experience in every possible experimental situation. This can be illustrated with the following example of atomic theory. Located at the center of the atom, the nucleus occupies a small part of the volume but almost all of its mass. Each of the electrons moves in a three-dimensional 'electron cloud' made up of standing waves surrounding the nucleus. The shape of the standing waves depends on the probability patterns of finding the point electron at any given place in the cloud. This modern concept of the atom can account for experimental observations and thus correlates with experience. It is therefore a valid hypothetical construct.

Quantum mechanics can predict probabilities of subatomic events with the same precision with which Newtonian physics can predict events on the macroscopic level  even though it cannot predict specific events.

    A singular feature of quantum mechanics is that its predictions generally give only the probability of an event, not a deterministic statement that the event will happen or that it will not.

  QUANTUM MECHANICS...

"The quantum revolution was so cataclysmic because it attacked not one or two conclusions of classical physics but its very cornerstone, the foundation upon which the whole edifice was erected, and that was the subject-object dualism...It was abundantly clear to these physicists that 'objective measurement and verification could no longer be the mark of absolute reality, because the measured object could never be completely separated from the measuring subject-the measure and the measurer, the verified and the verifier, at this level, are one and the same." (Ken Wilbur Eye to Eye: Science and Transpersonal Psychology)

 QUANTUM THEORY ... At the turn of the century, the mechanistic view of the physical world was challenged by Einstein's theory of relativity and quantum theory. Since then, new laws of integrated wholes have been postulated

In the subatomic realm of quantum mechanics, the process of observing 'reality' changes 'reality'... this concept applies specifically to observation procedures in the realm of subatomic physics. Electrons orbiting in quantized energy levels would release and absorb discrete energy packets or quanta accounting for the hydrogen atom's discontinuous pattern of spectral lines. At the same time the electrons would be unable to spiral continuously down into the nucleus. In addition electrons in the lowest energy level, called the 'ground state', are stable, the atom cannot collapse, and matter can exist. Performing experiments to test the model, Bohr found a perfect fit between the calculated quantized energy levels and the energy formulae for hydrogen's spectral lines.

In physics the mechanistic paradigm had to be abandoned at the level of the very small (in atomic and subatomic physics) and the level of the very large (in astrophysics and cosmology)

Based on the well established assumptions of objectivism, reductionism, positivism and determinism, the methods of modern science have become established as an orthodox reductionist science... exclusive empiricism - all knowledge is based in experience i.e. 'scientism'

 Max Planck (1858-1947) father of quantum mechanics... discovered that the because the basic structure of nature occurs in jumps it can be described as 'discontinuous'. Calculations of classic energy laws predicted that the total energy in a black box should be infinite... notion of discrete quanta was based on the black box paradigm anomaly... 

Planck set out to understand why things glow brighter as they get hotter. He devised an experimental phenomenon called 'black body radiation' ... the radiation from a non-reflecting, non-glossy, perfectly absorbing, flat, black body... The experimental black body is a black metal box completely sealed except for a small hole through which one could view the inside of the box and making it possible to measure the energy frequencies radiating from the black box. If the box is heated until it glows red the inside of the box is seen to be glowing red as well the outside. Planck observed that by increasing and decreasing the temperature, he could change the energy frequencies which radiated from the black box... and their respective colours. He discovered that energy was absorbed and emitted in specific amounts or 'packets of energy' which he called 'quanta'. Furthermore the amount of energy in an energy packet was always the same... the constant named after him as 'Planck's constant'. The varying sizes of the energy packets of each color could be calculated by multiplying this constant by the frequency of the light radiated from the box. Results were explained in terms of discontinuous quanta. When the black body is heated, it first glows red because red light energy packets or 'quanta' have the lowest frequencies of the visible stectrum. As the temperature is increased more energy is absorbed by the black box and larger energy packets are emitted, accounting for the radiation of colours with higher frequencies.

 When Planck presented his paper to the scientific community in December l900 he was hoping for an explanation in terms of Newtonian physics. Instead his work established the 'discontinuous' structure of nature causing a major shift... 'paradigm shift' which resulted in the birth of quantum mechanics.

An example of a phenomenon which can be explained in terms of the 'discontinuous' structure of nature is the complex spectroscopic pattern of hydrogen gas. Hydrogen is the simplest of the atoms made up of one proton in the nucleus and one orbiting electron.Yet when the hydrogen gas is excited and its light is made to shine through a spectroscope, the resulting spectrum contains over one hundred lines. In l9l3 Danish physicist Niels Bohr won the Nobel Prize for his explanation of the complex spectrum of hydrogen gas in terms of a planetary model of the atom

 The varying sizes of the energy packets of each color could be calculated by multiplying this constant by the frequency of the light radiated from the box. When the black body is heated, it first glows red because red light energy packets are the smallest in the visible stectrum. As the temperature is increased more energy is absorbed by the black box and larger energy packets are emitted, accounting for the radiation of colors with higher frequencies. Hoping that the scientific community could explain his work in terms of Newtonian physics, Planck presented his paper in December l900. His work established the 'discontinuous' structure of nature, a major shift in the very foundation of science resulting in the birth of quantum mechanics.Black body radiation...  

Planck set out to understand why things glow brighter as they get hotter. He devised an experimental phenomenon called 'black body radiation' ... the radiation from a non-reflecting, non-glossy, perfectly absorbing, flat, black body... a black metal box completely sealed except for a small hole through which one can view the inside of the box. When the box is heated until it glows red it is red on the inside as well as the outside. Planck observed that by increasing and decreasing the temperature and the colours it was possible to measure the energy frequencies radiating from the black box.

thereby establishing the foundation for a 'paradigm shift' in science.

Energy absorbed and emitted in packets or 'quanta'...

He discovered that energy was absorbed and emitted in specific amounts or 'packets of energy' which he called 'quanta'. Furthermore the amount of energy in an energy packet was always the same... and named after him as 'Planck's constant'. The varying sizes of the energy packets of each color could be calculated by multiplying this constant by the frequency of the light radiating from the black body.

 When the black body is heated, it first glows red because red light energy packets have the lowest frequencies of the visible stectrum. As the temperature is increased more energy is absorbed by the black box and larger energy packets are emitted, accounting for the radiation of colours with higher frequencies.

Planck presented his work to the scientific community in December l900 hoping for an explanation in terms of Newtonian physics... Newton.

Planck's his work established the 'discontinuous' structure of nature causing a major shift in the very foundation of science... 'paradigm shift'. This was the birth of quantum mechanics.

Discontinuous structure of nature... An example of a phenomenon which can be explained in terms of the 'discontinuous' structure of nature is the complex spectroscopic pattern of hydrogen gas. Hydrogen is the simplest of the atoms, with one electron orbiting the nucleus which contains one proton. Yet when the hydrogen gas is excited and its light is made to shine through a spectroscope, the resulting spectrum contains over one hundred lines.

It was the Danish physicist Niels Bohr who provided a planetary model of the atom in order to explain the complexity of the hydrogen spectrum.  When Planck presented his paper in December l900 he hoped that the scientific community could explain the results in terms of Newtonian physics. Instead his work established the 'discontinuous' structure of nature causing a major shift in the very foundation of science...a 'paradigm shift' which resulted in the birth of quantum mechanics.

An example of a phenomenon which can be explained in terms of the 'discontinuous' structure of nature is the complex spectroscopic pattern of hydrogen gas. Hydrogen is the simplest of the atoms, with one electron orbiting the nucleus which contains one proton. Yet when the hydrogen gas is excited and its light is made to shine through a spectroscope, the resulting spectrum contains over one hundred lines. In l9l3 the Danish physicist Niels Bohwon the Nobel Prize for his planetary model to explain the complex spectrum. He started with spectroscopic data and speculated that electrons revolve around the nucleus in orbits or shells at specific distances from the nucleus, and that each orbit can accomodate a specific number of electrons. According to his theory, the electron of the hydrogen atom stays as close as possible to the nucleus, at the lowest energy state in the first shell known as the 'ground state.'
When the hydrogen atom is excited by heating which provides thermal energy, the electron jumps to higher energy levels. The distance from the nucleus depends on the amount of energy supplied. When the external energy is no longer applied, the electron returns to an inner shell, eventually returning to the first shell, emitting light energy as it jumps from one shell to another, and in the same amount as it absorbed when it jumped to an outer shells. For example, an electron making one jump from the outer to the innermost shell releases a certain amount of energy and one spectral line. An electron making one jump from the fifth to the third shell and another from the third to the first shell releases two separate amounts of energy and two spectral lines. Bohr worked out the one hundred possible combinations that the hydrogen electron can make as it jumps from the outermost to the innermost shell, and on this basis provided an explanation which could account for the hundred lines in the spectrum of hydrogen gas.
The properties of light can also be explained in the context of the "discontinuous" basic structure of nature.

 Neils Bohr and the planetary model of the atom In the early decades of the twentieth century a great paradigm shift occurred from Newtonian mechanics to quantum mechanics (led by Danish physicist Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg and Erwin Schrodinger)  and relativity theory (led by Albert Einstein). Bohr contemplated the paradox or 'paradigm anomaly' arising from the application of Newton's laws to Rutherford's miniature planetary model of the atom. He observed that calculations of classical Newtonian mechanics required the orbiting electrons to give off energy and spiral down into the nucleus (orbital decay) resulting in the collapse of the atom and, theoretically, the instability and non-existence of matter and therefore of the universe. Bohr set out to explain the paradox. He started with the complexity of spectroscopic data of the hydrogen absorption (and emission) spectrum....    one hundred spectral lines. 

Bohr combined the data on the hydrogen spectrum of absorption and emission with Max Planck's new concept of light packets or light quanta ...discrete 'quanta'... light energy can be emitted and absorbed in discrete units which he called 'quanta' -

Utilising the concept of the  discrete quanta, Bohr proposed a new theoretical planetary model of the atom which combined the notion of discrete quanta with the discontinuous pattern of the hydrogen atom's spectral line. In this way the paradox was theoretically resolved.

 Bohr speculated that electrons revolve around the nucleus in orbits or shells at specific distances from the nucleus,  in fixed orbits or 'quantized energy levels'... and that each orbit can accomodate a specific number of electrons. He proposed that electrons orbiting would release and absorb discrete energy packets or 'quanta' accounting for the hydrogen atom's discontinuous pattern of spectral lines. Orbiting in quantized energy levels, the electrons would not be able to spiral continuously down into the nucleus.In this way Bohr's theoretical model resolved the paradox of the collapsing atom and the non-existence of matter.

According to his theory, the electron of the hydrogen atom remains as  close as possible to the nucleus ... in the lowest energy state... in the first shell or 'inner shell' known i.e. 'ground state'. Electrons in the ground state would be stable and the atom would not be able to collapse allowing for the existence of matter. When the hydrogen atom is excited by heating which provides thermal energy, the electron jumps to higher energy levels at greater distances from the nucleus the distance depending on the amount of energy provided. When the external energy is no longer applied, the electron jumps back to lower shells and eventually returns to the first shell. As it jumps from one shell to another it emits light energy... visible as 'spectral lines'... in the same amount as it absorbed when it jumped to the outer shells. An electron making one jump from the outer to the innermost shell releases a certain amount of energy visible as one characteristic spectral line. An electron making one jump from the fifth to the third shell and another from the third to the first shell releases two separate amounts of energy visible as two separate spectral lines. There are one hundred possible combinations that the hydrogen electron can make as it jumps from the outermost to the innermost shell. Using his planetary model of the atom Bohr could account for the hundred lines in the spectrum of hydrogen gas.    Bohr performed experiments to test the model and found a perfect fit  between the calculated quantized energy levels and the energy formulae for hydrogen's spectral lines... his explanation of the hydrogen spectrum. When the hydrogen atom is excited by heating which provides thermal energy, the electron jumps to higher energy levels. The distance from the nucleus depends on the amount of energy supplied. When the external energy is no longer applied, the electron returns to an inner shell, eventually returning to the first shell, emitting light energy as it jumps from one shell to another, and in the same amount as it absorbed when it jumped to an outer shells. For example, an electron making one jump from the outer to the innermost shell releases a certain amount of energy and one spectral line. An electron making one jump from the fifth to the third shell and another from the third to the first shell releases two separate amounts of energy and two spectral lines.

Bohr’s brilliant theory appealed to physicists of the time because it integrated the insights of Planck and Einstein on the discontinuous quantum nature of energy into the familiar Newtonian framework... Newton's classical framework of orbits around a central body... Newtonian mechanics.  Bohr’s atomic model won him the Nobel Prize in 1913. Nevertheless it was eventually questioned by a student of theoretical physics at the University of Munich i.e Werner Heisenberg

 Early twentieth century theories of relativity and quantum mechanics:  Concept of scientific objectivity prevailed in Newtonian physics. While Newtonian physics applies to the macroscopic world of bicycles and billiard balls, quantum mechanics applies to the subatomic realm of atomic structure and subatomic particles. Questions were raised about the observer's objectivity and the separateness of the scientist. Observers of nature, the working scientists, required a new philosophical framework and an appropriate theory making process.  

 

 The subjective effects of the experimenter's choice of methods prevails in quantum mechanics. It was Werner Heisenberg who discovered that there are limits to our ability to study the processes of nature. Einstein had promoted the method of using only 'observables' to formulate his theory of relativity and Heisenberg followed Einstein's advice to start with observables in the theory making process. Heisenberg rejected the classical ideas of planetary orbits and started with the observable facts of atomic spectra. He was surprised to learn later from Einstein himself that such a process was limiting, since it is the theory which tells the scientist what to look for! When Heisenberg was a student of theoretical physics at the University of Munich he contemplated the doubtful validity of the model of the atom which Niels Bohr had proposed. He questioned the compromise between quantum theory and classical mechanics of planetary motion since Bohr's atomic model was unable to explain the more refined results of spectral technology.

 

    Physicist Erwin Schrodinger was intrigued by the news from Einstein that a French student de Broglie had speculated that maybe the electrons as particles could display wave-like behaviour, as it had been demonstrated that light waves could display particle-like behaviour as photons. Schrodinger posed the hypothetical question 'would it be possible to calculate the movement of the electron wave?' With an abstract mathematical picture called the 'wave function', he showed that if the hydrogen atom's singular electron was a 'standing wave' then the wave frequencies would be the same as those for Bohr's fixed orbits, and their energies would be the same as those of Heisenberg's calculations. Pointing out that the wave solutions demonstrated that the Schrodinger equation described the probability of observing an electron in a given place at a given time. Physicists were made aware of a very subtle aspect of the reality of the universe, a reality which could not be pictured. Heisenberg wondered how it was possible that accurate experimental results could be predicted on the basis of Schrodinger's probability waves for electrons as well as his own calculations of the mechanics of observables.

 

     Heisenberg used a thought experiment known as his 'microscope experiment'. In experiments using gamma rays which have the shortest known wave length but high energy... with a gamma-ray microscope... it is possible to determine the position of the electron. It requires the use of light (photons) of short wavelength to determine the position of the electron ... for gamma rays to 'see' an electron and locate its position. However, the high energy gamma rays knock the electrons out of their orbit, changing their direction and speed and therefore their momentum. In the process of locating the position of the electron, its direction is changed as a result of the collision with the energetic gamma rays. In order to determine the momentum... the direction of the moving electron, requires light of less energy... less energetic photons... the low-energy photons have wavelengths which are too long for determining the position of the electron. Thus it is impossible to know simultaneously the position and the momentum of the moving electron. In the subatomic realm, it is not possible to observe something without changing it. In this way Heisenberg formulated a new and dramatic principle - the 'uncertainty principle' - which states that in measuring some observables, others become uncertain. It is the process of observation itself which changes the system so as to prevent some of the observables from being measured. As one penetrates deeper into the subatomic realm, it becomes impossible to measure accurately and simultaneously the position and the momentum of a particle.

 

     Heisenberg's uncertainty principle signalled the final stages of the paradigm shift from the universe of classical Newtonian mechanics to the universe of quantum mechanics. Of primary significance, it has been verified repeatedly by experiment that Heisenberg's 'uncertainty principle' undermines the idea of a causal universe.  ...quantum mechanics cannot predict specific events... can predict probabilities of subatomic events with the same precision with which Newtonian physics can predict events on the macroscopic level. The characteristic probability wave of quantum physics, refers to a tendency of an event occurring... "standing in the middle between the idea of an event and the actual event, a strange kind of physical reality between the possibility and the reality. Heisenberg formulated his theory of quantum mechanics and explained the results of his experiments in his autobiography Physics and Beyond.     

 

 Heisenberg and the 'uncertainty principle'... As a student of theoretical physics at  the University of Munich Heisenberg doubted the validity of compromising between quantum theory and classical mechanics of planetary motion because it was unable to explain the more refined results of spectral technology. He rejected the classical ideas of planetary orbits on the basis of Einstein's method of  using only 'observables' to formulate his theory of relativity. Starting with the observable facts of atomic spectra, he explained the results and formulated his theory of quantum mechanics in his autobiography Physics and Beyond. He was surprised to learn later from Einstein himself that to start with observables could also be limiting since it is the theory which tells the scientist what to look for!   

 Heisenberg wondered how it was possible that accurate experimental results could be predicted on the basis of Schroedinger's probability waves for electrons as well as his own calculations of the mechanics of observables. Using a thought experiment known as his 'microscope experiment', he formulated a new and dramatic  principle which signalled the final stages of the paradigm shift from classical Newtonian  mechanics to quantum mechanics. As one penetrates deeper into the subatomic realm,  accurate measurements are not possible because of the impossibility of observing something without changing it. It is impossible to measure accurately, at the same time, both the position and the momentum of a subatomic particle. As an example, in experiments using gamma rays with the shortest known wave length, it was possible to "see" an electron and determine the position of the electron with a 'gamma-ray microscope'... gamma rays have a very short wavelength but high energy. However, as a result of collisions with the energetic photons the electrons are knocked out of orbit - their direction is changed, thus changing their momentum. Determining the direction of the moving electron requires measurement of both the position and the momentum of the electron. To determine the position of the electron, light of short  wavelength must be used, causing a change of momentum but determining the momentum of the electron depends on the use of less energetic photons... but low-energy photons are ineffective  because their wavelengths are too long for determining the position of the electron. Thus it becomes impossible to measure simultaneously both the position and the momentum of the moving electron. The measurement of one observable - the electron's position - becomes uncertain as soon as one measures the other observable - the electron's momentum. This is the basis for Heisenberg's 'uncertainty principle'. The uncertainty of observation and measurement results from the actual process of  observation and measurement. The system under observation is changed by the observer in such a way that observation becomes impossible. According to the uncertainty principle, the characteristic probability wave of quantum physics, refers to a tendency of an event occurring..."standing in the middle between the idea of an event and the actual event,  a strange kind of physical reality between the possibility and the reality."

Of primary significance is the repeated verification by experiment that Heisenberg's 'uncertainty principle' undermines the idea of a causal universe.

 The reality of matter and atoms was acceptable with Einsteins well known theory of 'Brownian motion'... small particles suspended in a liquid (whose movements are visible through a microscope, and therefore 'real) moved as a result of the randiom impacts of the moving molecules of the liquid) He conjectured that the then still invisibly small molecules exerted causal effects upon those very small yet 'ordinary' real things. This provided good reasons for the reality of molecules and then further of atoms. This theory was written up in his 1905 paper on".

Erwin Schrodinger was intrigued by the news from Einstein that a French student de Broglie, had speculated that, as it had been demonstrated that light waves could display particlelike behaviour as photons, maybe the electrons as particles could display wave-like behaviour. Schrodinger posed the hypothetical question 'would it be possible to calculate the movement of the electron wave?' With an abstract mathematical picture (called the 'wave function', the name for any solution to his equation) he showed that if the hydrogen atom's singular electron was a 'standing wave' then the wave frequencies would be the same as those or Bohr's fixed orbits, and their energies would be the same as Heisenberg's calculations. Pointing out that the wave solutions were waves of probability, his former professor Max Born demonstrated that the Schrodinger equation described the probability of observing an electron in a given place at a given time. Physicists were made aware of a very subtle aspect of the reality of the universe, a reality which could not be pictured. . In order to determine the direction of the moving electron, it is necessary to use less energetic photons but low-energy photons have long wavelengths. The electron's direction could be determined but not its position. Whence the 'uncertainty principle' which states that in measuring some observables, others become uncertain. It is the process of observation itself which changes the system so as to prevent some of the observables from being measured. The scientist goes through the looking-glass into the looking-glass universe.

 As a result of Bohr, Heisenberg, Planck a great paradigm shift occurred from Newtonian mechanics to quantum mechanics and 'relativity theory'.

  Conceptual framework or 'paradigm': philosopher Karl Popper 'Induction' as a theory making process.... defined by Bacon and applied by Newton... was effective within the framework of determinism... that matter is governed by determinate laws of cause and effect.

The early twentieth century theories of relativity and quantum mechanics raised questions about the observer's objectivity and the separateness of the scientist... the ideal of 'scientific objectivity'. As a result of  the crisis in physics in the1920s the physical world could no longer be understood in terms of the old mechanistic world view concepts of Cartesian-Newtonian science... scientific world view... trying to apply the concepts of an outdated world view to a reality that could no longer be understood in terms of these concepts... In the subatomic realm of quantum mechanics, the process of observing 'reality' changes 'reality'... this concept applies specifically to observation procedures in the realm of subatomic physics.   The new quantum theory described  subatomic events as being determined by laws of probability. Observers of nature or 'working scientists' required a new philosophical framework and an appropriate theory making process.   

     It was philosopher Karl Popper who met the challenge of the new quantum theory... to equate science with progress required a re-definition of the theory making process.... of the role of theory in order to maintain the ideal of scientific objectivity... and provided a working method for experimental scientists. Popper had received his education during the l920s and l930s and was influenced by Ernst Mach of the Vienna school of logical positivists who argued that scientific knowledge begins with the observer's sensations and observations. Popper emphasized that the scientific observer is not entirely objective but interacts with theories when they are used as probes for further answers... He claimed that science could still be equated with 'progress' but the theory making process ... the role of theory... had to be redefined in order to maintain the ideal of scientific objectivity. Popper claimed that theories must be tested in order to remain valid as explanations for observations. He redefined the role of theory and the theory making process as follows: the four criteria for a good theory are that its conclusions do not contradict each other and they are not buried in the premises, the theory explains the facts better than previous theories and it can lend itself to experimentation for testing. Scientific experiment and observation must be designed not to 'prove the truth' of a theory but to provide further evidence or 'corroborate' the theory or else to falsify the predictions and so disprove the theory. This is experimental 'falsifying test' required for the continued advancement of scientific knowledge within a changing conceptual framework or 'paradigm' defined as a theoretical structure, theoretical framework or conceptual framework.

In the process of 'scientific progress', one theoretical structure or 'paradigm' is replaced by another new and better one, giving rise to a series of shifts in perception or 'paradigm shifts' which lead to 'scientific revolutions'. As a result of a paradigm shift the perceptions of  working scientists change... the 'spectacles' of one paradigm are replaced by those of another paradigm... the theoretical framework changes and scientists design experiments within the framework of the new paradigm. The interpretation of data is made according to how it supports or detracts from the new paradigm. The outcome leads either to the continued validty of the old paradigm or to another paradigm shift and a new paradigm. A new generation of working scientists accepts the new structural framework as 'true'. New sets of experiments are designed in the context of the new paradigm and the new point of view. The process continues and science 'progresses'.

 Subatomic events described by the new quantum theory were determined by laws of probability. Observers of nature,  the working scientists, required a new philosophical framework (indeterminism) and an appropriate theory making process. The philosopher Karl Popper receiving  his education during the l920s and l930s and influenced by Ernst Mach of the Vienna school of logical positivists  who argued that scientific knowledge begins with the observer's sensations and observations),

... redefined the role of theory in order to maintain the ideal of scientific objectivity. Popper emphasized that the scientific observer is not entirely objective but interacts with theories when they are used as probes for further answers. As continally valid explanations for observations, theories must be tested. Scientific experiment and observation must be designed not to prove the truth of a theory but to 'corroborate' or falsify its predictions and disprove the theory. For Popper there are four criteria for a good theory; its conclusions do not contradict each other and are not buried in the premises, it explains the facts better than previous theories and can lend itself to experimentation for the falsifying test. Redefining the theory making process in this way, Popper met the challenge of the new quantum theory and provided a working method for experimental scientists. According to Popper, science is still  equated with 'progress'. However scientific knowledge advances within the changing conceptual framework resulting from a theory making process which involves the experimental falsifying test. 

In the process of 'scientific progress', one theoretical structure is replaced by another new and 'better' one, giving rise to a series of scientific 'revolutions'.    

 Thomas Kuhn (1922-1995) and concept of worldview or 'paradigm'... physicist turned historian who wrote Structure of Scientific Revolutions published in 1962. Kuhn explains the process of science in terms of the  analysis of scientific activity within the confines of a particular worldview or 'paradigm'. Data which do not fit a paradigm engender a 'paradigm crisis' followed by paradigm debate and eventually 'paradigm shift'. An example of a paradigm crisis is the inability of classical Newtonian mechanics to explain the dual nature of light; the behaviur of photons as waves and particles. Kuhn analyses the working scientists engaged in scientific activity... observes the observer. He shows  that the scientific process constitutes one movement involving both the physical and metaphysical, both facts and ideas, both matter and consciousness, both experiment and experimenter. The nature of these relationships is  investigated...

  QUANTUM MECHANICS

 

   

     In the early decades of the twentieth century a great paradigm shift occurred from Newtonian mechanics to quantum mechanics and relativity theory.

 

The Danish physicist Niels Bohr contemplated the paradox or 'paradigm anomaly' arising from the application of Newton's laws to Rutherford's miniature planetary model of the atom. Bohr observed that calculations of the classical mechanical paradigm required the orbiting electrons to give off energy and spiral down into the nucleus resulting in the collapse of the atom and, theoretically, in the instability and non-existence of the universe. Bohr proposed a new planetary model for the atom by combining the data on the hydrogen absorption - and emission - spectrum with Max Planck's new paradigm of light 'quanta'  to explain the complex spectrum. He combined hydrogen's spectral lines with the notion of the discrete quantum and proposed that the electrons travel in fixed orbits or 'quantized' energy levels. in this way theoretically resolving the paradox. Electrons orbiting in quantized energy levels would release and absorb discrete energy packets or 'quanta' accounting for the hydrogen atom's discontinuous pattern of spectral lines. At the same time the electrons would be unable to spiral continuously down into the nucleus. Bohr performed experiments to test the model and  found a perfect fit between the calculated quantized energy levels and the energy formulae for hydrogen's spectral lines. Bohr's brilliant theory appealed to physicists of the time because it integrated the insights of Planck and Einstein with classical Newtonian mechanics.

 

      Bohr started with the spectroscopic data and speculated that electrons revolve around the nucleus in orbits or shells at specific distances from the nucleus. According to his theory, each orbit would be able to accommodate a specific number of electrons. The electron of the hydrogen atom stays as close as possible to the nucleus, at the lowest energy level in the first shell known as the 'ground state.' Electrons in the ground state lowest energy level are stable, the atom cannot collapse, and matter can exist. When the hydrogen atom is excited by heating which provides thermal energy, the electron jumps to higher energy levels. The distance from the nucleus depends on the amount of energy supplied. When the external energy is no longer applied, the electron returns to an inner shell, eventually returning to the first shell, emitting light energy as it jumps from one shell to another, and in the same amount as it absorbed when it jumped to an outer shell. For example, an electron making one jump from the outer to the innermost shell releases a certain amount of energy and one spectral line. An electron making one jump from the fifth to the third shell and another from the third to the first shell releases two separate amounts of energy and two spectral lines. Bohr worked out the one hundred possible combinations that the hydrogen electron can make as it jumps from the outermost to the innermost shell, and on this basis provided an explanation which could account for the hundred lines in the spectrum of hydrogen gas. He won the Nobel Prize in 1913 but his atomic model questioned by Werner Heisenberg when he was a student of theoretical physics at the University of Munich.

     Heisenberg doubted the validity of making a compromise between quantum theory and classical mechanics of planetary motion because it was unable to explain the more refined results of spectral technology. Heisenberg rejected the classical ideas of planetary orbits on the basis of Einstein's method of using only 'observables' to formulate his theory of relativity. Starting with the observable facts of atomic spectra, he explained the results and formulated his theory of quantum mechanics in his autobiography Physics and Beyond. He was surprised to learn later from Einstein himself that to start with observables could also be limiting since it is the theory which tells the scientist what to look for!

     In l921 Albert Einstein at age twenty six received the Nobel Prize in l921 for his work describing the theory of the quantum nature of light. The properties of light could also be explained in terms of the 'discontinuous' basic structure of nature. Planck had described how energy is absorbed and emitted in packets called 'quanta'. Einstein demonstrated how light energy is absorbed and emitted in packets called 'photons'. Each photon of a given colour has a certain frequency and thus a certain amount of energy. Photons of high frequency light have more energy than photons of low-frequency light. He proved his theory with an experiment demonstrating the phenomenon known as the 'photoelectric effect'. When light hits the surface of a metal, electrons are loosened from the atoms in the metal. They escape in numbers which can be counted and at a velocity which can be measured. He based his revolutionary theory on the work of the l905 Nobel Prize winner Phillipe Lenard who showed that a flow of electrons begins immediately when impinging light strikes the target metal. He discovered that reducing the intensity of the impinging light would change the velocity of the escaping electrons. Einstein explained both these phenomena with his particle theory of light, providing a theoretical bridge between Newtonian physics and quantum mechanics.

     Einstein received news that a French student de Broglie, had speculated on the possibility of electrons as particles displaying wave-like behaviour on the basis of the fact that light waves had been shown to display particle-like behaviour as 'photons.' Erwin Schrodinger was intrigued and wondered if it would be possible to 'calculate the movement of the electron wave'.  He then demonstrated with an abstract mathematical picture called the 'wave function' that the hydrogen atom's singular electron as a 'standing wave' had the same wave frequencies as those for Bohr's fixed orbits and their energies were equal to Heisenberg's calculated frequencies. Schrodinger's former professor Max Born pointed out that the wave solutions were waves of probability. Consequently Schrodinger's equations described the probabilities of observing electrons in a given time and place. Physicists were made aware of a very subtle aspect of the reality of the universe - a reality which could not be visualized. Heisenberg wondered how it was possible that accurate experimental results could be predicted on the basis of Schrodinger's probability waves for electrons as well as his own calculations of the mechanics of observables. Using a thought experiment known as his 'microscope experiment', he formulated a new and dramatic principle which signalled the final stages of the paradigm shift from classical Newtonian mechanics to quantum mechanics. As one penetrates deeper into the subatomic realm, accurate measurements are not possible and it becomes impossible to observe something without changing it. It becomes impossible to measure accurately, at the same time, both the position and the momentum of a subatomic particle. As an example, in experiments using gamma rays with the shortest known wave length, it was possible to determine the position of the electron. However, as a result of collisions with high energy gamma rays the electrons were knocked out of orbit - their direction and speed were changed, changing their momentum. Determining the direction of the moving electron requires measurement of both the position and the momentum of the electron. To determine the position of the electron, light of short wavelength must be used, causing a change of momentum. To determine the momentum of the electron, photons of less energy must be used, but low-energy photons are ineffective because they have wavelengths which are too long for determining the position of the electron. Thus it becomes impossible to measure simultaneously both the position and the momentum of the moving electron. The measurement of one observable - the electron's position - becomes uncertain as soon as one measures the other observable - the electron's momentum. This is the basis for Heisenberg's 'uncertainty principle' which states that it is the actual process of observation and measurement which produces the uncertainty of observation and measurement. A system under observation is changed in such a way that observation becomes impossible. Of primary significance to paradigm shift, it has been repeatedly verified by experiment that Heisenberg's 'uncertainty principle' undermines the idea of a causal universe.

According to Heisenberg, the characteristic probability wave of quantum physics, refers to a tendency of an event occurring..."standing in the middle between the idea of an event and the actual event, a strange kind of physical reality between the possibility and the reality."

      In the autumn of l927, physicists met in Brussels, Belgium to discuss the central philosophical issue of the new physics of quantum mechanics. The question discussed was the following: what should replace Newtonian physics as a philosophical basis for the study of subatomic phenomena? The laws governing individual events were discarded and the formulation decided upon was known as the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. According to this interpretation, quantum theory does not explain in detail what is going on in a particular event but it is complete because it works. It works because it correlates with experience in every possible experimental situation. This can be illustrated with the following example of atomic theory. Located at the centre of the atom, the nucleus occupies a small part of the volume but almost all of its mass. Each of the electrons moves in a three-dimensional 'electron cloud' made up of standing waves surrounding the nucleus. The shape of the standing waves depends on the probability patterns of finding the point electron at any given place in the cloud. This modern concept of the atom can account for experimental observations and thus correlates with experience. It is therefore a valid hypothetical construct. Quantum mechanics can predict probabilities of subatomic events with the same precision with which Newtonian physics can predict events on the macroscopic level even though it cannot predict specific events.

A singular feature of quantum mechanics is that its predictions generally give only the probability of an event, not a deterministic statement that the event will happen or that it will not.

 "In quantum theory individual events do not always have a well defined cause. For example, the jump of an electron from one atomic orbit to another, or the disintegration of a subatomic particle, may occur spontaneously without any single event causing it. We can never predict when and how such a phenomenon is going to happen; we can only predict its probability. This does not mean that atomic events occur in completely arbitrary fashion; it means only that they are not brought about by local causes. The behavior of any part is determined by its nonlocal connections to the whole, and since we do not know these connections precisely, we have to replace the narrow classical notion of cause and effect by the wider concept of statistical causality. The laws of atomic physics are statistical laws, according to which the probabilities for atomic events are determined by the dynamics of the whole system. Whereas in classical mechanics the properties and behavior of the parts determine those of the whole, the situation is reversed in quantum mechanics; it is the whole that determines the behavior of the parts. " (Fritjof Capra The Turning Point p. 86)

 

 Niels Bohr and planetary model of the atom...                                               

 Werner Heisenberg... 

Albert Einstein...

significance of Relativity Theory 

Relativity theory has made the cosmic web come alive, so to speak, by revealing its intrinsically dynamic character; by showing that its activity is the very essence of its being. In modern physics the image of the universe as a machine has been transcended by a view of it as one indivisible, dynamic whole whose parts are essentially interrelated and can be understood only as patterns of a cosmic process. At the subatomic level the interrelatons and interactions between the parts of the whole are more fundamental than the parts themselves. There is motion but there are, ultimately, no moving objects; there is activity but there are no actors; there are no dancers, there is only the dance." (Capra Turning Point 92)  (see Gary Zukav. The Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics. New York: William Morrow. l979)

Copenhagen  Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics....

Niels Bohr and the planetary model of the atom In the early decades of the twentieth century a great paradigm shift occurred from Newtonian mechanics to quantum mechanics and relativity theory. The Danish physicist  Niels Bohr contemplated the paradox or 'paradigm anomaly' arising from the application of Newton's laws to the Rutherford miniature planetary model of the atom. Bohr observed that calculations of the classical mechanical paradigm required the orbiting electrons to give off energy and spiral down into the nucleus(orbital decay) . This would result in the collapse of the atom and theoretically in the instability and the non-existence of matter and the  universe.

To explain the complexity of the hydrogen  spectrum Bohr combined the hydrogen absorption and emission data... spectral lines with Max Planck's new notion of discrete units of light energy... light packets or 'quanta'  an idea resulting from another paradigm anomaly... calculations of classical energy laws predicted that the total energy in a black box should be infinite.

    Bohr started with spectroscopic data and speculated that electrons revolve around the nucleus... He combined the spectroscopic data of hydrogen with the notion of the discrete quantum and proposed  a new model for the atom which theoretically resolved the paradox. He proposed that the electrons travel in fixed orbits or 'quantized' energy levels... orbits or 'shells' at specific distances from the nucleus. Each orbit is able to accomodate a specific number of electrons. Electrons would release and absorb light as discrete units of energy... energy packets or 'quanta'. This would account for the discontinuous pattern of the hydrogen atom's spectral lines and at the same time the the inability of the electrons to spiral continuously down into the nucleus. When he tested the model with further experiments, he found a perfect fit between the energy formulae for hydrogen's spectral lines and the calculated quantized energy levels.

 

Electrons in the lowest energy level, the 'ground state', are stable, the atom cannot collapse, and therefore theoretically matter can exist.

Bohr's brilliant theory appealed to physicists of the time because it integrated the insights of Planck and Einstein (discontinuous quantum nature of energy) with classical Newtonian mechanics (traditional framework of orbits around a central body).  

    The electron of the hydrogen atom stays as close as possible to the nucleus, at the lowest energy... the 'ground state'... in the first shell or 'inner shell'.

  When the hydrogen atom is excited by heating or 'thermal energy', the electron jumps to higher energy levels at greater distances from the nucleus depending on the amount of energy supplied. When the external energy is no longer applied, the electron returns to a lower shell, eventually returns to the first shell, emitting light energy.as it jumps from one shell to another, and in the same amount as it absorbed when it jumped to an outer shell. The emission of light becomes visible in the form of spectral lines. An electron making a jump from the outer to the innermost shell releases a certain amount of energy visible as one characteristic spectral line. An electron making one jump from the fifth to the third shell and another from the third to the first shell releases two separate amounts of energy visible as two characteristic spectral lines. The hydrogen electron can make any of a hundred possible combinations of jumps  from the outermost to the innermost shell each one represented by one characteistic spectral line. Bohr worked out the one hundred possible combinations that the hydrogen electron can make as it jumps from the outermost to the innermost shell, and on this basis provided an explanation which could account for the hundred lines in the spectrum of hydrogen gas. Bohr was able to account for the hundred lines in the 'spectrum' of hydrogen gas with his planetary model of the atom. In 1913 he received the Nobel Prize but his atomic model was put into question by Werner Heisenberg when he was a student of theoretical physics at the University of Munich.

As a result of Bohr's work a great paradigm shift occurred from Newtonian mechanics to quantum mechanics

 With Thompson's discovery of the electron, the concept of the 'indivisibility' of the atom was discarded.

At the turn of the century, the mechanistic view of the physical world was challenged by Einstein's theory of relativity and quantum theory. Since then, new laws of integrated wholes have been postulated... the laws of natural systems of organized complexitEinstein changed the concept of matter as substance with his theory of matter .. highly packaged energy (E=mc2). As transformable energy, matter was conceived as process and the universe as an interacting set of events or processes rather than a static collection of material objects or 'things'. 

The reality of matter and atoms was acceptable with Einstein's "well - testable theory that small particles suspended in a liquid (whose movements are visible through a microscope, and therefore 'real') moved as a result of the random impacts of the moving molecules of the liquid). Einstein conjectured that the then still invisibly small molecules exerted causal effects upon those very small yet 'ordinary' real things. This provided good reasons for the reality of molecules and then further of atoms... This theory was written up in his 1905 paper on Brownian motion.

 Although it cannot predict specific events, quantum mechanics can predict probabilities of subatomic events with the same precision with which Newtonian physics can predict events on the macroscopic level. It was Heisenberg who discovered that there are limits to our ability to study the processes of nature. As we penetrate deeper into the subatomic realm, it becomes impossible to measure accurately, at the same time, both the position and the momentum of a particle. In experiments using gamma rays with the shortest known wave length, it was possible to determine the position of the electron. However, the high energy gamma rays knocked the electrons out of orbit, changing their direction, speed and thus momentum. To determine the position of the electron, light of short wavelength must be used, causing a change of momentum. To determine the momentum of the electron, light of less energy must be used, involving a wavelength which is too long for determining the position of the electron. Thus it becomes impossible to know simultaneously the position and the momentum of the moving particle. In the subatomic realm, it is not possible to observe something without changing it. Of primary signifance, it has been verifed repeatedly by experiment that Heisenberg's 'uncertainty principle' undermines the idea of a causal universe. According to Heisenberg, the characteristic probability wave of quantum physics, refers to a tendency of an event occurring..."standing in the middle between the idea of an event and the actual event, a strange kind of physical reality between the possibility and the reality."
While Newtonian physics applies to the macroscopic world of bicycles and billiard balls, quantum mechanics applies to the subatomic realm. The concept of scientific objectivity prevailed in Newtonian physics. The subjective effects of the experimenter's choice of methods prevails in quantum mechanics. We as a part of nature are studying nature. And everything in the universe which appears to exist independently is actually a part of a whole 'organic pattern'.

 

Einstein and the quantum theory of light In l921 at age twenty six, Albert Einstein received the Nobel Prize for the work describing his theory of the quantum nature of light to to explain the properties of light in the context of the 'discontinuous' basic structure of nature. Planck had described how energy is absorbed and emitted in packets called 'quanta'. Einstein went on to demonstrate how light energy is absorbed and emitted in packets called 'photons'. Each photon of a given colour has a certain frequency and thus a certain amount of energy. Photons of high frequency light have more energy than photons of low-frequency light. He proved his theory with an experiment demonstrating the phenomenon known as the 'photoelectric effect'. When light hits the surface of a metal, electrons are loosened from the atoms in the metal. They escape in numbers which can be counted and at a velocity which can be measured. He based his revolutionary theory on the work of the l905 Nobel Prize winner Phillipe Lenard who showed that a flow of electrons begins immediately when impinging light strikes the target metal. Lenard had discovered that reducing the intensity of the impinging light would change the velocity of the escaping electrons. Einstein explained both these phenomena with his particle theory of light, inthis way providing a theoretical bridge  between Newtonian physics and quantum mechanics. Since then, new laws of integrated wholes have been postulated..

 When Einstein received news that a French student de Broglie, had speculated on the possibility of electrons as particles displaying wave-like behaviour on the basis of the fact that light waves had been shown to display particle-like behaviour as 'photons.'  Erwin Schrodinger was intrigued and posed the hypothetical question would be possible to 'calculate the movement of the electron wave?' He then demonstrated with an abstract mathematical picture... 'wave function' which represented any solution to his equation... that if the single electron of the hydrogen atom was a 'standing wave' then the wave frequencies would be the same as those for Bohr's fixed orbits and their energies were equal to Heisenberg's calculated frequencies. Schrodinger's former professor Max Born pointed out that the wave solutions were waves of probability and demonstrated that Schrodinger's equation described the probability of observing an electron in a given place at a given time. Physicists were made aware of a very subtle aspect of the reality of the  universe - a reality which could not be visualized.

Heisenberg wondered how it was possible that accurate experimental results could be predicted on the basis of Schrodinger's probability waves for electrons as well as his own calculations of the mechanics of observables. Using a  thought experiment known as his 'microscope experiment', he formulated a new and dramatic  principle which signalled the final stages of the paradigm shift from classical Newtonian  mechanics to quantum mechanics. As one penetrates deeper into the subatomic realm,  accurate measurements are not possible and it becomes impossible to observe something without changing it. It becomes impossible to measure accurately, at the same time, both the position and the momentum of a subatomic particle. As an example, in experiments using gamma rays with the shortest known wave length, it was possible to determine the position of the electron. However, as a result of collisions with high energy gamma rays the electrons were knocked out of orbit - their direction and speed were changed, changing their momentum. Determining the direction of the moving electron requires measurement of both the position and the momentum of the electron. To determine the position of the electron, light of short  wavelength must be used, causing a change of momentum.To determine the momentum of the electron, photons of less energy must be used, but low-energy photons are ineffective  because they have wavelengths which are too long for determining the position of the electron. Thus it becomes impossible to measure simultaneously both the position and the momentum of the moving electron. The measurement of one observable - the electron's position - becomes uncertain as soon as one measures the other observable - the electron's momentum. This is the basis for Heisenberg's 'uncertainty principle' which states that it is the actual process of observation and measurement which produces the uncertainty of observation and measurement.

A system under observation is changed in such a way that observation becomes impossible. Of primary signifance to paradigm shift, it has been repeatedly verified by experiment that Heisenberg's 'uncertainty principle' undermines the idea of a causal universe.According to Heisenberg, the characteristic probability wave of quantum physics, refers to a tendency of an event occurring..."standing in the middle between the idea of an event and the actual event, a strange kind of physical reality between the possibility and the reality."In the autumn of l927, physicists met in Brussels, Belgium to discuss the central philosophical issue of the new physics of quantum mechanics. The question discussed was the following: what should replace Newtonian physics as a philosophical basisfor the study of subatomic phenomena? The laws governing individual events were discarded and the formulation decided upon was known as the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. According to this interpretation, quantum theory does not explain in detail what is going on in a particular event but it is complete because it works. It works because it correlates with experience in every possible experimental situation. This can be illustrated with the following example of atomic theory. Located at the center of the atom, the nucleus occupies a small part of the volume but almost all of its mass. Each of the electrons moves in a three-dimensional 'electron cloud' made up of standing waves surrounding the nucleus. The shape of the standing waves depends on the probability patterns of finding the point electron at any given place in the cloud. This modern concept of the atom can account for experimental observations and thus correlates with experience. It is thereforea valid hypothetical construct. Quantum mechanics can predict probabilities of subatomic events with the same precision with which Newtonian physics can predict events on the macroscopic level even though it cannot predict specific events;

 Werner Heisenberg and the 'uncertainty principle'  Bohr's atomic model was questioned by Werner Heisenberg when he was a student of theoretical physics at the University of Munich. Heisenberg doubted the validity of making a compromise between quantum theory and classical mechanics of planetary motion because it was unable to explain the more refined results of spectral technology. Heisenberg rejected the classical ideas of planetary orbits on the basis of Einstein's method of

using only 'observables' to formulate his theory of relativity. He started with the observable facts of atomic spectra. He explained the results and formulated his theory of quantum mechanics in his autobiography Physics and Beyond.

 

He was surprised to learn later from Einstein himself that to start with observables could also be limiting since it is the theory which tells the scientist what to look for!

Using a thought experiment known as his 'microscope experiment', Heisenberg formulated a new and dramatic principle which signaled the final stages of the paradigm shift from the universe of classical Newtonian mechanics to the universe of quantum mechanics. To "see" an electron and locate its position it is necessary to use gamma rays which have a very short wavelength but high energy. With a gamma-ray microscope, the position of the electron can be located. In the process its direction is changed as a result of the collision with the energetic photons. In order to determine the direction of the moving electron, it is necessary to use less energetic photons but low-energy photons have long wavelengths. The electron's direction could be determined but not its position. Whence the 'uncertainty principle' which states that in measuring some observables, others become uncertain. It is the process of observation itself which changes the system so as to prevent some of the observables from being measured.

Uncertainty principle states that it is the actual process of  observation and measurement which produces the uncertainty of observation and measurement. A system under observation is changed in such a way that observation becomes impossible. Of primary significance to paradigm shift, it has been repeatedly verified by experiment that Heisenberg's 'uncertainty principle' undermines the idea of a causal universe. According to Heisenberg, the characteristic probability wave of quantum physics, refers to a tendency of an event occurring..."standing in the middle between the idea of an event and the actual event,  a strange kind of physical reality between the possibility and the reality." This can be illustrated with the following example of atomic theory. Located at the center of the atom, the nucleus occupies a small part of the volume but almost all of its mass. Each of the electrons moves in a three-dimensional 'electron cloud' made up of standing waves surrounding the nucleus. The shape of the standing waves depends on the probability patterns of finding the point electron at any given place in the cloud. This modern concept of the atom can account for experimental observations and thus correlates with experience. It is therefore a valid hypothetical construct. In quantum theory individual events do not always have a well defined cause. For example, the jummp of an electron from one atomic orbit to another, or the disintegration of a subatomic particle, may occur spontaneously without any single event causing it. We can never predict when and how such a phenomenon is going to happen; we can only predict its probability. This does not mean that atomic events occur in completely arbitrary fashion; it means only that they are not brought about by local causes. The behavior of any part is determined by its nonlocal connections to the whole, and since we do not know these connections precisely, we have to replace the narrow classical notion of cause and effect by the wider concept of statistical causality. The laws of atomic physics are statistical laws, according to which the probabilities for atomic events are determined by the dynamics of the whole system. Whereas in classical mechanics the properties and behavior of the parts determine those of the whole, the situation is reversed in quantum mechanics; it is the whole that determines the behavior of the parts. Relativity theory has made the cosmic web come alive, so to speak, by revealing its intrinsically dynamic character; by showing that its activity is the very essence of its being. In modern physics the image of the universe as a machine has been transcended by a view of it as one indivisible, dynamic whole whose parts are essentially interrelated and can be understood only as patterns of a cosmic porcess. At the subatomic level the interrelatons and interactions between the parts of the whole are more fundamental than the parts themselves. There is motion but there are, ultimately, no moving objects; there is activity but there are no actors; there are no dancers, there is only the dance. the universe which appears to exist independently is actually a part of a whole "organic pattern." An example of a phenomenon which can be explained in terms of the 'discontinuous' structure of nature is the complex spectroscopic pattern of hydrogen gas. Hydrogen is the simplest of the atoms, with one electron orbiting the nucleus which contains one proton. Yet when the hydrogen gas is excited and its light is made to shine through a spectroscope, the resulting spectrum contains over one hundred lines. Subatomic events described by the new quantum theory were shown to be determined by laws of probability.

Now at about the same time that the 'rigid frame' of scientific dualism was collapsing in physics,

 Copenhagen  Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics.  In the autumn of l927, physicists met in Brussels, Belgium to discuss the central philosophical  issue of the new physics of quantum mechanics. The question discussed was the following: what should replace Newtonian physics as a philosophical basis for the study of subatomic phenomena? The laws governing individual events were discarded and the formulation decided upon was known as the  Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. According to this interpretation, quantum theory does not explain in detail what is going on in a particular event but it is complete because it works. It works because it correlates with experience in every possible experimental situation. This can be illustrated with the following example of atomic theory. Located at the centre of the atom, the nucleus occupies a small part of the volume but almost all of its mass. Each of the electrons moves in a three-dimensional 'electron cloud' made up of standing waves surrounding the  nucleus. The shape of the standing waves depends on the probability patterns of finding the  point electron at any given place in the cloud. This modern concept of the atom can account for experimental observations and thus correlates with experience. It is therefore a valid hypothetical construct.

Quantum mechanics can predict probabilities of subatomic events with the same precision with which Newtonian physics can predict events on the macroscopic level  even though it cannot predict specific events.

"The quantum revolution was so cataclysmic because it attacked not one or two conclusions of classical physics but its very cornerstone, the foundation upon which the whole edifice was erected, and that was the subject-object dualism... It was abundantly clear to these physicists that 'objective measurement and verification could no longer be the mark of absolute reality, because the measured object could never be completely separated from the measuring subject-the measure and the measurer, the verified and the verifier, at this level, are one and the same." (Ken Wilbur Eye to Eye: Science and Transpersonal Psychology.

..in different paradigms are unable to communicate clearly. They "talk through each other" and the result is a 'paradigm debate'. Strict adherence to falsification testing would not account for necessary modification and adjustment of theories and assumption in the event of errors and unknown complexity of factors intervening in an experimental situation. With Kuhn's analysis of working scientists engaged in scientific activity, the observer is observed and we enter the looking-glass universe. We are shown that the scientific process constitutes one movement involving both the physical and metaphysical, both facts and ideas, both matter and consciousness, both experiment and experimenter. The nature of these relationships should be questioned and investigated by the new looking-glass scientists within the theoretical framework of the new paradigm which is defined by Kuhn's thesis. In the early decades of the twentieth century a great paradigm shift occurred from Newtonian mechanics to quantum mechanics (led by Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg and Erwin Schrodinger) and relativity theory (led by Albert Einstein).

The Cartesian view of the universe as a mechanical system provided a 'scientific' sanction for the manipulation and exploitation of nature that has become typical of Western culture. Descartes himself shared Bacon's view that the aim of science was the domination and control of nature. While Newtonian physics applies to the macroscopic world of bicycles and billiard balls, quantum mechanics applies to the subatomic realm. The concept of scientific objectivity prevailed in Newtonian physics. The subjective effects of the experimenter's choice of methods prevails in quantum mechanics. We as a part of nature are studying nature. And everything in the universe which appears to exist independently is actually a part of a whole 'organic pattern'. To "see" an electron and locate its position it is necessary to use gamma rays which have a very short wavelength but high energy. With a gamma-ray microscope, the position of the electron can be located. In the process its direction is changed as a result of the collision with the energetic photons. In order to determine the direction of the moving electron, it is necessary to use less energetic photons. Having long wavelengths, the low-energy photons would be ineffective in determining the electron's position. Whence the 'uncertainty principle' which states that in measuring some observables, others become uncertain. The laws of atomic physics are statistical laws, according to which the probabilities for atomic events are determined by the dynamics of the whole system. Whereas in classical mechanics the properties and behavior of the parts determine those of the whole, the situation is reversed in quantum mechanics; it is the whole that determines the behavior of the...

Ludwig von Bertalanffy. The work of Bertalanffy has been of wide interest in recent decades. He describes the scientific exploration of wholism and the application of the systems approach to higher levels of organization. He outlines changes in science which have led to more 'wholistic' perspectives in general and describes the role of 'general system' approaches in particular.

 Holism and 'systems theory'... laws of natural systems of organized complexity... the functioning of the system as a whole has irreducible properties A scientific study of reality which is wholistic emphasizes the 'whole-system perspective.' . This approach requires an understanding of the interrelationships between the parts of the whole system. In a wide variety of systems - biological, social, cosmological and others - the natural tendency for the evolution of ever larger and more complex wholes cannot be fully comprehended by analysing the constituent parts only. The properties of a natural system are not reducible to the properties of the interdependent parts. Whether one considers a cell, a human being, a nation, or a world of nations, the whole is somehow greater than the sum of its parts.

 A system is perceived in terms of its own properties as a whole, over and above the properties of its parts. Perceived in terms of wholes or 'systems,' all natural phenomena are treated as 'natural systems'.

 The functioning of the whole is understood in terms of the constituent sets of integrated relations and interacting parts. The properties of the whole system are a result of the interdependence of its constituent parts. The general property of the whole system is something more than the sum of the properties of the individual parts. A proper understanding of the whole system is only possible with the recognition of its irreducible properties the 'emergent properties'..

Within the framework of the wholistic paradigm, the observer focuses on the order, harmony and synchrony inherent in complex systems. Known as the 'systems approach' of 'systems theory' the wholistic perspective views the interrelationships and unifying patterns within the complexities of natural systems. The 'general system theory' is the scientific exploration of the concepts of 'whole' and 'wholeness'. The 'systems' approach is the 'wholistic' approach. A significant result of the introduction of a 'systems' or 'wholistic' approach to scientific methodology is the reorientation of thinking. The result is a new scientific paradigm known as 'system philosophy' which is based on the view of the world as a great organization or 'organism.'

According to this new worldview, the sciences are conceptual systems which correspond with reality. 

"Everywhere we look in nature, we see nothing but wholes". 'Holism' is the drive to ever-higher unities. Evolution is the drive to holism....  holistic evolution of nature- applies also to the individual's growth and development. Koestler ... 'holon'- an entity which looking down is whole, looking up is part (see Jan Smuts Holism and Evolution New York: Maxmillan1926)

Open natural systems... the functioning of the system as a whole has irreducible properties... 'emergent properties'.  The physical world as a large system approaches a state of ultimate disorganization. The quantity called 'entropy' and its negative form 'negentropy' is a measure of the energy available to the system.  According to the Second Law of Thermodynamics in any system entropy increases and negentropy decreases with time. Any physical system which requires an input of energy for its maintenance of a dynamic steady state... 'steady state equilibrium' in a changing environment  is an 'open system in a steady-state' or 'open natural system'. The steady state equilibrium of open natural systems is in contrast to the 'inert equilibrium' of 'closed systems'. Natural systems exist on different levels of organization... the atom, the molecule, the cell, the tissue, the organ, the organism and so on. Living organisms take in energy, metabolize and rearrange substances, and liberate energy in new forms used for self-maintenance and growth. Warm-blooded organisms are characterised by the regulative mechanism of body temperature known as 'homeostasis'Examples of natural open systems... the universe, the galaxy, the solar system, the human brain as an organ, the human organism as a social organism the planet Earth as a gigantic organism the terrestrial biosphere and even the human personality or 'human nature'. Human nature can only be understood in terms of the integrated functioning of human feelings, instincts, volitions, aspirations, reasoning capacities  and so on. Natural systems are subjected to the forces of a changing environment.

A proper understanding of a natural open system is only possible with the recognition of its irreducible properties... properties which emerge as a result of the inerconnectedness of  elements of the whole system... 'emergent properties'.

James Lovelock... planet Earth as a natural open system profoundly affected by human activities.. wholistic worldview and the systems perspective physician and geologist, describes the planet Earth as a 'living planet.' He proposes a systems approach to the scientific study of the Earth. Actively maintained and regulated by life on its surface, the living Earth is named 'Gaia' - after the Greek name for the earth goddess. This idea originated in the search for life on Mars. Lovelock was invited by NASA to be an experimenter on the first lunar instrument mission. At the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, he first worked on the lunar probe and then on the design of sensitive instruments for analyzing the surfaces and atmospheres of planets. With a background in biology and medicine, he grew curious about the experiments to detect life on other planets. Together with a philosopher employed by NASA to assess the experiments, Lovelock decided that the most certain way to detect life on a planet was to analyze its atmosphere. He reasoned that the existence of living organisms would depend on the atmosphere for the conveyance of raw materials, products and by-products of their metabolism. The result would be an atmosphere of changing chemical composition, an atmosphere in disequilibrium - recognizably different from the atmosphere of a lifeless planet. In 1975 the two Viking spacecraft sent to Mars on a life-detecting mission confirmed the absence of life on that planet This important finding led to new perspectives and models of Earth as a planet with life - as a 'living planet.' Called the 'Gaia hypothesis,' the new model of the Earth views the planet as a self-organizing and self-regulating open natural system. Gaia is a planetary being described in terms of the co-evolution of living species and their environments. With one modifying assumption, the Gaia hypothesis is in accordance with Darwin's theory of evolution through natural selection. Whereas Darwin assumed the evolution of species to be independent of the evolution of the environment, Lovelock makes a case for the coupled co-evolution of species and their environments. Through the mechanism of natural selection, species and environments evolve together as open natural systems. The wholistic 'Gaia hypothesis' forms the basis of a unified science of the Earth. Combining geology and the earth sciences with physiology and the life sciences, the systems science of the Earth is 'geophysiology.' With a wholistic perpective of the planet Earth, the new science constitutes a theoretical basis for establishing a 'planetary medicine.' Instead of being in control of the planet and its resources, the human species through human activities brings about important changes and thus plays an important role in the functioning of the whole living planet. According to Gaia theory "we are just another species, neither the owners nor the stewards of this planet. Our future depends much more upon a right relationship with Gaia than with the never-ending drama of human interest." (James Lovelock, The Ages of Gaia: A Biography of Our Living Earth. (London, New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1988), 14)

It is being discovered that not only is the reductionist scientific paradigm insufficient for the study of the physical world; it is insufficient for the study of human affairs as well.

Much of the criticism of 'open' or 'humanistic' or 'holistic' education is directed to its perceived lack of academic rigor...

aim of wholistic education is to develop the capacity to reason critically and compassionately, incorporating and transcending dualistic and suppressed forms of consciousness to achieve a more fully developed mode of awareness..

Implications for education... shift from the reductionist worldview to the wholistic worldview in teaching methodology... Throughout the industrialized world, particularly in the English speaking part and in northern Europe, there is an fundamental shift in the dominant worldview due a shift in the scientific paradigm from reductionist science to wholistic science... has profound far reaching implications for education. This shift consists of new trends away from linear perspectives and towards whole-system perspectives; away from cause-effect relationships and towards interrelationships; away from reductionism and towards wholism... noticeable in three characteristic trends: first, the trend away from fragmentation, competition and separateness and towards the emphasis on oneness and wholeness; second, the trend away from faith in external authority, such as religion, science and 'experts' and towards the inner authority of the conscience; third, the trend away from the need to control and towards the need to trust the human 'spirit'.

 The goals of education are being shaped by the new science of connectedness or 'holistic science'. The new scientific methodology of holistic science is based on the assumption that the observer participates in the process of observation. Reflecting the same basic assumption, a new educational methodology recognizes and validates the participation of the learner in the learning process. The new holistic science includes more 'participatory methodology' based on the subjective experiences of the observer in experimental situations. Based on the assumption of oneness and wholeness, it validates the inner subjective experience as well as objective physical sense data. It is not possible to have a truly meaningful education for the 'humanization' of society without the scientific recognition of the intrinsic nature and value of what it is to be human. The worldview of wholistic science does recognize the intrinsic nature and value of the human inner life. It is therefore possible to have a truly meaningful wholistic education if it is based on the wholistic paradigm and the scientific recognition of the human inner life. A wholistic education is possible within the context of the worldview of a wholistic science. With the scientific recognition of the inner life, the wholistic worldview permits a global view of the human being as a 'totality of body, soul and spirit.' Scientific discoveries of the interrelations of body, 'soul' and 'spirit' are reflected in a new educational paradigm. The new pedagogical methodology recognizes that the child's learning experiences and learning difficulties are global in nature. The global view of the child and the learning process "can provide a secure theoretical and practical foundation for a holistic education that directs itself to educate the whole person for the whole of life." (Gerald Karnow)

 

Critique of reason ...'reason' as an organizing principle:

retrace the historical development of Reason..ancient Greece- reality organized through classical logic

middle ages in Europe - reason was generally dormant - exercised by Church patriarchy to provide a rational basis for the revealed scriptural knowledge of their theology

new rational ideology challenged the dogma and rigidity of medieval Scholaticism, releasing humanity from centuries of superstition and oppression by a powerful priesthood.

Nature was comprehended and brought under increasing control, harnessed to meet the growing material demands of an expanding middle class.

sixteenth century empirical science -logic revived in the service of secular society...

..ideology of 'positivism - marriage of empiricism and logic has guided the development of modernist culture...

 

A powerful affiliation of science, the Protestant Reformation, and a rising mercantile class shattered existing religious and civic hierarchies and paved the way for democratic forms of social organization.

Enlightenment thought was essential to the development of social freedoms. Yet this new way of apprehending reality and the historic social forms such apprehension assumed contained the seeds of their own reversal.

From the perspective of critical theory, the solution is the development of reason liberated from the shackles of both superstition and instrumentalism, a reason capable of incorporating the nonrational,

suppressed aspects of consciousness without sacrificing its critical capacity...

solution is transformative education of wholistic paradigm.

 References:

  Azimov, Isaac. History of Biology Natural History Press, Garden City, New York 1964

  Beck, W. Modern Science and the Nature of Life, New York: Doubleday and Company, 1961.

 Briggs, J.P. and David Peat, F.D. Looking Glass Universe: The Emerging Science of Wholeness. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1984

  Dewey, J. Logic: The Theory of Inquiry New York, London: Holt Rinehart and Winston, 1938

  Greeley, A. Ecstasy: A Way of Knowing. Englewood Cliffs, N.J. Prentice-Hall, Inc. 1974

  Greene, M.  "Philosophy, Reason and Literacy." Review of Educational Research, 1984 54, 547-559

  Harman Willis The Shifting Worldview: Toward a More Holistic Science Holistic Education Review. September 1992: 15-25

  Karnow,Gerald

  Korzybski Alfred . Science and Sanity

  Medawar, P. The Threat and the Glory: Reflections on Science and Scientists. New York: Harper Collins, 1990.

Zukav, Gary. The Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics. New York: William Morrow, l979

To debase thought and exalt nature is a typical fallacy of an era of rationalization. Opposing the Enlightenment by regressing to earlier stages, will not alleviate the permament crises we have created, but can lead to ever more barbaric forms of social domination.(Horkheimer Eclipse of Reason NY: Oxford University Press) Likewise we are cautioned against the revival of past theories of objective reason. We live in an historical period characterized by the rapid disintegration of accepted value systems and conceptual frameworks. The existential crisis provoked by such dissolution can inspire the 'recycling of medieval ontologies' for modern use - leading us to cling to Absolutist philosophies in a desperate effort to stave off chaos.... The solution from the perspective of a critical theory, is the development of a reason liberated from the shackles of both superstition and instrumentalism, a reason capable of incorporatig the nonrational, suppressed aspects of consciousness without sacrificing its critical capacity. This I believe is also the task of holistic educators." (Kathleen Kesson in Miller Renewal...102)