The publication of W. Pauli's Scientific Correspondence by Springer-Verlag has motivated a vast research activity on Pauli's role in modern science. This excellent treatise sheds light on the ongoing dialogue between physics and psychology.
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"The Innermost Kernel" recounts the physicist and Nobel Laureate Wolfgang Pauli and his interest in Jungian psychology, philosophy and western world-view. It is also an exploration of the intellectual setting and context of Pauli's thinking, which has its starting point in the cultural and intellectual climate of fin-de-siècle Europe. As a contribution to the general history of quantum physics this study has a special focus on the psychological and philosophical issues discussed by physicists belonging to the Copenhagen school. The work is mainly based on the correspondence of the principle characters and explores some of the central issues discussed there, as for instance the subject-object relation, complementarity, the relation of conscious and unconscious, the process underlying concept-formation, the psychology of scientific discovery, the symbolic world of alchemy, the theories of archetypes and of synchronicity. Ultimately this book is about a remarkable scientist searching for a new understanding of the interrelatedness of man and world.Review:
From the reviews:
"This revised translation of a Swedish Ph. D. thesis in philosophy offers far more than a discussion of Wolfgang Pauli’s encounters with the psychoanalyst Carl Gustav Jung ... . Here the book explains very well how Pauli attempted to extend his understanding beyond superficial esotericism and spiritism ... . To understand Pauli one needs books like this one, which ... seems to open a path to a fuller understanding of Pauli, who was seeking to solve a quest even deeper than quantum physics." (Arne Schirrmacher, Mathematical Reviews, Issue 2006 g)
"This book is a revised and extended version of a doctoral thesis for the degree in philosophy at the University of Uppsala. It is an interesting compilation of basic material concerning Pauli and his contacts and thinking in the world of psychology. It gives moreover a good review of the man behind the physicist. The book contains very extensive bibliographic notes, and specific references. In brief, a must, for the interested reader. The hard cover book is nicely edited following Springer’s high-quality standards." (Roland Carchon, Physicalia, Vol. 28 (4-6), 2006)
"Suzanne Gieser presents us with an exceptional work of scholarship, which should become a standard source of reference for anyone interested in a deeper understanding of Jung’s theories and their relationship to 20th century science. ... the essential framework of her study derives its form and significance at least as much from the philosophy of science, particularly the implications for Jung’s analytical psychology of the epistemological conclusions of quantum mechanics. This is really where the value of this book lies ... ." (George B. Hogenson, Journal of Analytical Psychology, Vol. 53, 2008)
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