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Logos & Episteme

Volume 2, Issue 2, 2011

Nicholas Rescher
Pages 233-252
DOI: 10.5840/logos-episteme20112234

What Einstein Wanted

Einstein envisioned a clear difference between a bottom-up physics that moves from observations to the conjecture of explanatory generalizations, and a top-down physics that deploys intuitively natural principles (especially of economy and elegance) to explain the observations. Einstein’s doubts regarding standard quantum mechanics thus did not simply lie in this theory’s use of probabilities. Rather, what he objected to was their status as merely phenomenological quantities configured to accommodate observation, and thereby lacking any basis of derivation from considerations of general principle.