Steen Brock paints a cross-disciplinary picture of the philosophical and scientific background for the rise of the quantum theory. He accounts for the unity of Kantian metaphysics of Nature, the Helmholtzian principles, and the Hamiltonian methods of modern pre-quantum physics. Brock shows how Planck's vision of a generalization of classical physics implies that the original quantum mechanics of Heisenberg can be regarded as a successful attempt to maintain this modern unity of physics.
However, for Niels Bohr, the unity of science and metaphysics did not end in the world of physics. The development of quantum physics had general implications both for other sciences and for various philosophical issues. Brock discusses these matters with respect to recent topics within the philosophy of science and major interpretations of Bohr's ideas.
The author invites the reader to follow a long and
winding route of thought which, in the end, culminates in Bohr's ideas of complementarity, culture and Spirit.