Article ID: CBB205749345

Orthodox or dissident? The evolution of Bohm’s ontological reflections in the 1950s (2023)


David Bohm has often been considered unable to understand the meaning of the quantum revolution as well as its radical metaphysical implications. Similarly, his pilot-wave theory was negatively portrayed as an attempt to restore a classical and deterministic Weltanschauung. Against this background, the aim of this paper is twofold: in the first place, it will be argued that the accusations of dogmatism advanced by several eminent physicists contra Bohm show a biased understanding of his works. Referring to this, two case studies will be discussed: the Bohm–Pauli correspondence, and the difficult relationship between the former and Leon Rosenfeld, a fervent supporter of Bohr’s philosophy of complementarity. These examples indicate that the opposition to the pilot-wave approach was for the most part not based on scientific grounds. In the second place, I will reconstruct and analyze the evolution of Bohm’s philosophical reflections about ontology, scientific realism and pluralism studying private correspondences as well as his main works in the fifties culminated in the book Causality and Chance in Modern Physics. Underlining the originality of Bohm’s thoughts, it will be concluded that his perspective can be characterized as a form of internal realism.

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Authors & Contributors
Juliana Genevieve Souza André
Andrea Mazzola
Martin Calamari
Talbot, Chris
Raíssa Rocha Bombini
Ronchetti, Lucia
Circumscribere: International Journal for the History of Science
Mefisto: Rivista di medicina, filosofia, storia
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
Physis: Rivista Internazionale di Storia della Scienza
História, Ciências, Saúde---Manguinhos
Configurations: A Journal of Literature, Science, and Technology
Prensas de la Universidad de Zaragoza
Springer International Publishing
Princeton University Press
I. B. Tauris
Harvard University Press
Philosophy of science
Quantum mechanics
Quantum theory
Correspondence and corresponding
Bohm, David Joseph
Pauli, Wolfgang Ernst
Fuller, Steve
Sommerfeld, Arnold Johannes Wilhelm
Vailati, Giovanni
Russell, Bertrand Arthur William
Time Periods
20th century
20th century, early
19th century
United States
Great Britain
Lisbon (Portugal)
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
Munich. Universität

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