Peter Henri Bortoft (1938 – 29 December 2012)was a British independent researcher and teacher, lecturer and writer on physics and the philosophy of science. He is best known for his work The Wholeness of Nature, considered a relevant and original recent interpretation of Goethean science. His book Taking Appearance Seriously: The Dynamic Way of Seeing in Goethe and European Thought was published in 2012.
Philosophy of science is a sub-field of philosophy concerned with the foundations, methods, and implications of science. The central questions of this study concern what qualifies as science, the reliability of scientific theories, and the ultimate purpose of science. This discipline overlaps with metaphysics, ontology, and epistemology, for example, when it explores the relationship between science and truth.
Goethean science concerns the natural philosophy of German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Although primarily known as a literary figure, Goethe did research in morphology, anatomy, and optics. He also developed a phenomenological approach to natural history, an alternative to Enlightenment natural science, which is still debated today among scholars.
Bortoft completed his studies at the University of Hull,and then performed postgraduate research on the foundations of quantum physics at Birkbeck College, where theoretical physicist David Bohm introduced him to the problem of wholeness in quantum theory. Subsequently, Bortoft worked with John G. Bennett on Bennett's Systematics (also known as Multi-Term Systems), which was Bennett's methodology for assisting the systematic and progressive understanding of systems, complexity, and wholeness, and on efforts with Bennett and with Kenneth W. Pledge to develop a formal language that was rigorously descriptive of scientific activity. Those efforts were published in Systematics: The Journal of the Institute for the Comparative Study of History, Philosophy and the Sciences, listed below.
The University of Hull is a public research university in Kingston upon Hull, a city in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England. It was founded in 1927 as University College Hull. The main university campus is located in Hull and is home to the Hull York Medical School, a joint initiative with the University of York. Students are served by Hull University Union.
David Joseph Bohm was an American scientist who has been described as one of the most significant theoretical physicists of the 20th century and who contributed unorthodox ideas to quantum theory, neuropsychology and the philosophy of mind.
Holism in science, or holistic science, is an approach to research that emphasizes the study of complex systems. Systems are approached as coherent wholes whose component parts are best understood in context and in relation to one another and to the whole. This practice is in contrast to a purely analytic tradition which aims to gain understanding of systems by dividing them into smaller composing elements and gaining understanding of the system through understanding their elemental properties. The holism-reductionism dichotomy is often evident in conflicting interpretations of experimental findings and in setting priorities for future research.
Bortoft taught physics and philosophy of science at Schumacher College in the framework of the program in Holistic Science. He held numerous lectures and seminars in Great Britain and the United States on the scientific work of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and on the development of modern science.
Schumacher College was founded in 1990 by Satish Kumar, John Lane and others, and first opened to students in January 1991 in Dartington, Totnes, Devon, UK. Its first visiting teacher was James Lovelock. It was inspired by E.F. Schumacher, the economist, environmentalist, and development educator and the author of Small is Beautiful. It runs holistic education courses for people concerned with social and environmental issues. It is an initiative of The Dartington Hall Trust.
Johann Wolfgang (von) Goethe was a German writer and statesman. His works include four novels; epic and lyric poetry; prose and verse dramas; memoirs; an autobiography; literary and aesthetic criticism; and treatises on botany, anatomy, and colour. In addition, there are numerous literary and scientific fragments, more than 10,000 letters, and nearly 3,000 drawings by him extant.
Bortoft died on 29 December 2012 at his home in Matlaske, Norfolk.
Matlaske is a village and a civil parish in the English county of Norfolk. The village is 21.6 miles (34.8 km) North-north-west of Norwich, 9.3 miles (15.0 km) south-west of Cromer and 136 miles (219 km) north-north-east of London. The nearest railway station is at Sheringham for the Bittern Line which runs between Sheringham, Cromer and Norwich. The nearest airport is Norwich International Airport. The parish of Matlask in the 2001 census, a population of 124, increasing to 139 at the 2011 Census. For the purposes of local government, the parish falls within the district of North Norfolk.
Norfolk is a county in East Anglia in England. It borders Lincolnshire to the northwest, Cambridgeshire to the west and southwest, and Suffolk to the south. Its northern and eastern boundaries are the North Sea and, to the north-west, The Wash. The county town is Norwich. With an area of 2,074 square miles (5,370 km2) and a population of 859,400, Norfolk is a largely rural county with a population density of 401 per square mile. Of the county's population, 40% live in four major built up areas: Norwich (213,000), Great Yarmouth (63,000), King's Lynn (46,000) and Thetford (25,000).
The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.
David Elieser Deutsch is a British physicist at the University of Oxford. He is a Visiting Professor in the Department of Atomic and Laser Physics at the Centre for Quantum Computation (CQC) in the Clarendon Laboratory of the University of Oxford. He pioneered the field of quantum computation by formulating a description for a quantum Turing machine, as well as specifying an algorithm designed to run on a quantum computer. He is a proponent of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics.
Reality is the sum or aggregate of all that is real or existent, as opposed to that which is merely imaginary. The term is also used to refer to the ontological status of things, indicating their existence. In physical terms, reality is the totality of the universe, known and unknown. Philosophical questions about the nature of reality or existence or being are considered under the rubric of ontology, which is a major branch of metaphysics in the Western philosophical tradition. Ontological questions also feature in diverse branches of philosophy, including the philosophy of science, philosophy of religion, philosophy of mathematics, and philosophical logic. These include questions about whether only physical objects are real, whether reality is fundamentally immaterial, whether hypothetical unobservable entities posited by scientific theories exist, whether God exists, whether numbers and other abstract objects exist, and whether possible worlds exist.
Brian David Josephson is a Welsh theoretical physicist and professor emeritus of physics at the University of Cambridge. Best known for his pioneering work on superconductivity and quantum tunnelling, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1973 for his prediction of the Josephson effect, made in 1962 when he was a 22-year-old PhD student at Cambridge University. Josephson is the only Welshman to have won a Nobel Prize in Physics. He shared the prize with physicists Leo Esaki and Ivar Giaever, who jointly received half the award for their own work on quantum tunnelling.
The Emperor's New Mind: Concerning Computers, Minds and The Laws of Physics is a 1989 book by mathematical physicist Sir Roger Penrose.
Christian de Quincey is a philosopher and author who teaches consciousness, spirituality and cosmology at universities and colleges in the United States and Europe. He is also an international speaker on consciousness.
Systematics is the name given by John Godolphin Bennett (1897–1974) to a branch of systems science that he developed in the mid-twentieth century. Also referred to as the theory of Multi-Term Systems or Bennettian Systematics, it focuses on types, levels, and degrees of complexity in systems, the qualities emergent at these levels, and the ability to represent and practically deal with ("understand") complexity using abstract models. Thus to understand the notions of sameness and difference requires a system or universe of discourse with a minimum of two terms or elements. To understand the concept of relatedness requires three, and so on.
Evan Harris Walker, was an American physicist and parapsychologist.
Quantum mysticism is a set of metaphysical beliefs and associated practices that seek to relate consciousness, intelligence, spirituality, or mystical worldviews to the ideas of quantum mechanics and its interpretations. Quantum mysticism is considered by most scientists and philosophers to be pseudoscience or quackery.
Wholeness and the Implicate Order is a book by theoretical physicist David Bohm. It was originally published 1980 by Routledge, Great Britain.
The quantum mind or quantum consciousness group of hypotheses propose that classical mechanics cannot explain consciousness. It posits that quantum mechanical phenomena, such as quantum entanglement and superposition, may play an important part in the brain's function and could contribute to form the basis of an explanation of consciousness.
Imants Barušs is Professor of Psychology at King's University College at the University of Western Ontario, Canada.
Michel Bitbol is a French researcher in philosophy of science.
Arthur Guy Zajonc is a physicist and the author of several books related to science, mind, and spirit; one of these is based on dialogues about quantum mechanics with the Dalai Lama. Zajonc, professor emeritus at Amherst College as of 2012, has been teaching there since 1978. He has served as the General Secretary of the Anthroposophical Society in America. From January 2012 to June 2015 he was president of the Mind and Life Institute.
A Perfumed Scorpion is a non-fiction book by the Sufist writer, Idries Shah, that was first published by Octagon Press in 1978, the same year that he published two other major works: Learning How to Learn: Psychology and Spirituality in the Sufi Way and The Hundred Tales of Wisdom.
Tales of the Dervishes was first published in 1967, and recently re-published by The Idries Shah Foundation in October 2016. Together with The Exploits of Mulla Nasrudin, published the year before, it represented the first of several books of practical Sufi instructional materials to be released by Idries Shah. Like all releases on this new ISF Publishing era, this book is offered online, for free, on the official Idries Shah Foundation site.
Quantum fiction is a literary genre that reflects modern experience of the material world and reality as influenced by quantum theory and new principles in quantum physics. The genre is not necessarily science-themed and blurs the line separating science fiction and fantasy into a broad scope of mainstream literature that transcends the mechanical model of science and involves the fantasy of human perception or imagination as realistic components affecting the every day physical world. Quantum fiction is characterized by the use of an element in quantum mechanics as a storytelling device. In quantum fiction, everyday life hinges on some aspect of the quantum nature of reality.
Tim William Eric Maudlin is an American philosopher of science who has done influential work on the metaphysical foundations of physics and logic.