The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

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Author QuotedWerner Heisenberg
Title QuotedPhysics and Philosophy
Date (Year/Month/Day)1963/05/26
ImprintNew York : [s.n.]. 1958
QuotationReading [Werner] Heisenberg's Physics and Philosophy [New York, 1958], which is an exciting book. The uncertainty principle is oddly like St. John of the Cross. As God in the highest eludes the grasp of concepts, so in the ultimate constitution of matter there is nothing really there (except Aristotelian potency, perhaps- and H. is willing to admit this). Heisenberg and quantum theory-at least the Copenhagen interpretation-is the end of conventional 19th century materialism-and the joke is that this materialism is now unmasked as a faith. Soviet scientists now have to attack Heisenberg on purely dogmatic grounds, exactly as the Holy Office attacked Galileo. It is an article of Soviet faith that mechanical laws of motion, electronic activity etc. must be a confirmation of the religion of dialectical materialism. Ergo. Heisenberg shows that the naive objectivity of conventional physics is on the same plane as the ancient conviction that the sun revolved around the earth.
Quotation SourceTurning Toward the World: The Pivotal Years. The Journals of Thomas Merton, Volume 4, 1960-1963.; Edited by Victor A. Kramer. / San Francisco : Harper Collins. 1996, p. 322
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