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David Bohm

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We have reversed the usual classical notion that the independent "elementary parts" of the world are the fundamental reality, and that the various systems are merely particular contingent forms and arrangements of these parts. Rather, we say that inseparable quantum interconnectedness of the whole universe is the fundamental reality, and that relatively independent behaving parts are merely particular and contingent forms within this whole.
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"On the Intuitive Understanding of Nonlocality as Implied by Quantum Theory", Foundations of Physics Vol 5 (1975)

 
David Bohm

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I just want to explain what I mean when I say that we should try to hold on to physical reality.
We are ... all aware of the situation regarding what will turn out to be the basic foundational concepts in physics: the point-mass or the particle is surely not among them; the field, in the Faraday-Maxwell sense, might be, but not with certainty. But that which we conceive as existing ("real") should somehow be localized in time and space. That is, the real in one part of space, A, should (in theory) somehow "exist" independently of that which is thought of as real in another part of space, B. If a physical system stretches over A and B, then what is present in B should somehow have an existence independent of what is present in A. What is actually present in B should thus not depend the type of measurement carried out in the part of space A; it should also be independent of whether or not a measurement is made in A.
If one adheres to this program, then one can hardly view the quantum-theoretical description as a complete representation of the physically real. If one attempts, nevertheless, so to view it, then one must assume that the physically real in B undergoes a sudden change because of a measurement in A. My physical instincts bristle at that suggestion.
However, if one renounces the assumption that what is present in different parts of space has an independent, real existence, then I don't see at all what physics is supposed to be describing. For what is thought to be a "system" is after all, just conventional, and I do not see how one is supposed to divide up the world objectively so that one can make statements about parts.

 
Albert Einstein
 

Three principles the conformability of nature to herself, the applicability of the criterion of simplicity, and the "unreasonable effectiveness" of certain parts of mathematics in describing physical reality are thus consequences of the underlying law of the elementary particles and their interactions. Those three principles need not be assumed as separate metaphysical postulates. Instead, they are emergent properties of the fundamental laws of physics.

 
Murray Gell-Mann
 

Take of London fog 30 parts; malaria 10 parts, gas leaks 20 parts, dewdrops gathered in a brickyard at sunrise 25 parts; odor of honeysuckle 15 parts. Mix. The mixture will give you an approximate conception of a Nashville drizzle.

 
O. Henry
 

The ideas set forth by organismic biologists during the first half of the twentieth century helped to give birth to a new way of thinking "systems thinking" in terms of connectedness, relationships, context. According to the systems view, the essential properties of an organism, or living system, are properties of the whole, which none of the parts have. They arise from the interactions and relationships among the parts. These properties are destroyed when the system is dissected, either physically or theoretically, into isolated elements. Although we can discern individual parts in any system, these parts are not isolated, and the nature of the whole is always different from the mere sum of its parts. The systems view of life is illustrated beautifully and abundantly in the writings of Paul Weiss, who brought systems concepts to the life sciences from his earlier studies of engineering and spent his whole life exploring and advocating a full organismic conception of biology.

 
Fritjof Capra
 

The ideas set forth by organismic biologists during the first half of the twentieth century helped to give birth to a new way of thinking "systems thinking" in terms of connectedness, relationships, context. According to the systems view, the essential properties of an organism, or living system, are properties of the whole, which none of the parts have. They arise from the interactions and relationships among the parts. These properties are destroyed when the system is dissected, either physically or theoretically, into isolated elements. Although we can discern individual parts in any system, these parts are not isolated, and the nature of the whole is always different from the mere sum of its parts. The systems view of life is illustrated beautifully and abundantly in the writings of Paul Weiss, who brought systems concepts to the life sciences from his earlier studies of engineering and spent his whole life exploring and advocating a full organismic conception of biology.

 
Fritjof Capra
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