more from Werner Heisenberg

Single Idea 17550

[catalogued under 14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / e. Lawlike explanations]

Full Idea

When we represent a group of connections by a closed and coherent set of concepts, axioms, definitions and laws which in turn is represented by a mathematical scheme we have isolated and idealised them with the purpose of clarification.

Gist of Idea

We give a mathematical account of a system of natural connections in order to clarify them


Werner Heisenberg (Physics and Philosophy [1958], 06)

Book Reference

Heisenberg,Werner: 'Physics and Philosophy' [Penguin 1989], p.95

A Reaction

Attacks on the regularity theory of laws, and the notion that explanation is by laws, tend to downplay this point - that obtaining clarity and precision is a sort of explanation, even if it fails to go deeper.