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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. The Crisis in Physics. Other editions.
Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. The Crisis in Physics by Christopher Caudwell. This work is an analysis of the contradiction between quantum mechanics and relativity in relation to the bourgeois nature of scientific thinkers. Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. More Details Edition Language. Other Editions 4. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
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Excellent though it suffers from being unfinished- the final six chapters are in rough draft, and though the concluding chapter is astonishingly powerful, some of the previous are lacking cohesion, almost prompts or ideas to be fleshed out later.
I reccomend skimming through to the final chapter on determinism and causality and returning to these unfinished notes, as this will unify what initially appears to be disparate thoughts.
Caudwell was writing as quantum mechanics clashed with the theory Excellent though it suffers from being unfinished- the final six chapters are in rough draft, and though the concluding chapter is astonishingly powerful, some of the previous are lacking cohesion, almost prompts or ideas to be fleshed out later.
Caudwell was writing as quantum mechanics clashed with the theory of general relativity. This crisis of which he writes touches on vast number of issues determinism vs. Caudwell argues that this crisis stems from the division in our society between the subject and the object; or if you like, the private and the public. To understand that the two are intimately involved undermines our society's dominating idea that ownership goes one way: that one can percieve, and affect, and may not be affected in return.
In physics, this creates a dualism when, for example, concieving of electrons when they behave both as waves and as particles, and either as wave or particle in the case of an observer. It is only natural that one may then come away thinking either that the universe is all in the eye of the beholder, or that we percieve it all from the outside, no matter the theoretical incoherence this produces. That we are still unable to reconcile quantum physics with relativity, 80 years after this work was published, demonstrates I think Caudwell's point that the problem is external to physics.
I found the book's subject matter easy enough to engage with. I'm not a physicist, though I do have an amateur's enthusiasm for the topic and I did a bit of google research on the side to contextualise some presented debates, which assisted with the process. Somewhat more of a barrier was the writing style! It's funny that apparently he's referred to as England's Gramsci however reductive that comparison may be ; while I suppose this is a reference to Caudwell's topics of choice being superstructural art, science, poetry , Caudwell also occasionally shares the allusive, dialogic writing style of Gramsci, honestly adopting the position of his invisible opponents before not quite opposing them, but overcoming them.
It can be a little hard to follow. Not only that, but both authors were killed by fascists, and their work shows the fractures.
It's not quite as tough a read as all that, and enormously valuable besides- I can tell I'll be referring back to it in future. A "quarry of ideas" indeed! This book sets up some important ideas, the limitation of generalised thought in Physics, the failures to recognise wholistic relations between subject and object, and the collapse of experimentation into arbitrary mathematics. It is also vital in trying to connect this to bourgeois economy. While the connection is sometimes difficult to follow, the book is a good read.
Apr 16, Brain rated it liked it. A philosophy book--so I am not sure understood half of what was written. Very challenging intellectual pursuit. Ezequiel rated it really liked it Apr 27, Tom rated it liked it Sep 11, Philip Mlonyeni rated it liked it Jan 16, Patrick rated it it was amazing Feb 16, Saima Abbas rated it liked it Nov 19, Rodolfo rated it really liked it Mar 25, Ryan Healey rated it liked it Apr 21, Sudraka rated it really liked it Aug 12, Stalin rated it really liked it Oct 19, Mairi rated it really liked it Apr 11, Sam added it Mar 16, Bikash Agarwal added it Aug 01, Jon Johnson marked it as to-read Aug 19, Nishant marked it as to-read Sep 07, Dibya marked it as to-read Oct 08, Chuck Mcburnett added it Oct 18, Ryan Maher marked it as to-read Jan 15, Shaq marked it as to-read Mar 11, Sarah marked it as to-read Apr 14, Baran marked it as to-read May 01, Jake marked it as to-read Nov 27, Vishal Puri is currently reading it Dec 10, Madhu Karanath marked it as to-read Dec 31, Juan Lopera marked it as to-read Jan 20, I marked it as to-read Jan 30, Aung Sett Kyaw Min marked it as to-read Feb 12, Camlo Kalandra marked it as to-read Mar 07, Juliana marked it as to-read Mar 20, Rahma marked it as to-read Mar 21, Dipanwita Chakraborty added it Apr 15, Iqra marked it as to-read Apr 26, CC marked it as to-read Aug 12, Eoghan marked it as to-read Sep 13, Julia marked it as to-read Sep 30, Venugopal R marked it as to-read Oct 06, Tasha-Lee marked it as to-read Oct 14, Jennie marked it as to-read Nov 04, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.
Readers also enjoyed. About Christopher Caudwell. Christopher Caudwell. Christopher Caudwell is the pseudonym of Christopher St. John Sprigg a British Marxist writer, thinker and poet. He was educated at the Benedictine Ealing Priory School, but left school at the age of 15 after his father, Stanhope Sprigg, lost his job as literary editor of the Daily Express.
The Crisis In Physics
Caudwell provides a trenchant critique of mechanism and positivism. In the words of J. Levy Best Seller. Add to Cart.
The Crisis in Physics
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Christopher Caudwell and the Crisis in Physics: A Discussion