Keith Douglas' Web Page

About me Find out who I am and what I do.
My resumé A copy of my resumé and other documentation about my education and work experience for employers and the curious.
Reviews, theses, articles, presentations A collection of papers from my work, categorized and annotated.
Current research projects What I am currently working on, including some non-research material.
Interesting people People professionally "connected" to me in some way.
Interesting organizations Organizations I am "connected" to. (Some rather loosely.)
Intellectual/professional influences Influences on my work, including an organization chart. Here you can also buy many good books on philosophy and other subjects via I have included brief reviews of hundreds of books.
Professional resources Research sources, associates programs, etc.
What is the philosophy of computing? A brief introduction to my primary professional interest.
My intellectual heroes A partial list of important people. Limited to the dead.
My educational philosophy As a sometime teacher I've developed one. Includes book resources.

Book Influences: Philosophy of Science - Physics

How is Quantum Field Theory Possible? Auyang An e-colleague on Vic Stenger's mailing list recommended this to me when I was studying events. It did not serve much purpose, though not none, in that respect. It is a fascinating discussion of ontological and epistemological questions centered around quantum field theory and includes an introduction to this branch of physics.
Interpreting the Quantum World Bub This very technical book nevertheless has a lot of introductory material with minimal (but not zero) mathematical and physical prerequisites. However, it moves quickly from there into its main theme, which is not exactly that of the title. Rather the topic seems to be to analyze how much "realism" can be squeezed out of various interpretations of and revisions to orthodox quantum mechanics. Bub is a Bohmian, to give away the (rather obvious as a guess if one knows the intellectual relationships) punchline. However, I might add, although the project is well worth it (even the pages of proofs which are included), the debates are clearly not over realism as philosophers ordinarily understand it; rather they are over what Einstein and company called realism. Bunge's 1985 volume is right on the money here: what part of traditional realism is threatened by the possibility that the universe is "inseparable", "nonlocal" or whatever in some way we did not know until recently? It is even less likely in the context of "sharp vs. blunt" properties: i.e., we used to think position was characterized by a single (say) vector; now we know it is often better represented as a set of vectors or whatever. Bub addresses these questions in passing (including saying how ridiculous the subjectivism of some is in some cases), but doesn't seem to think them as important as the others. This is likely in part a matter of differing interests and is thus excusable, though for the public, misled by bad popularizations and Wheeler (who really gets off lightly in the book) and a few others, would be better served by another approach. This extends to most philosophers, too - it is clear that this is a philosophy of physics book for philosophers of physics, primarily.

Finished with this section? Go back to the list of book subjects here.