Power Relations in Science: The Bohr and Wheeler-Everett Dialogue on the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics

Fábio Freitas, Olival Freire Jr., Iolanda Faria


Pierre Bourdieu challenged the notions of science when he presented it as a field of peers competing for the monopoly of scientific authority. As scientific capital equals power, science disputes become disputes for power. Yet, simultaneously, those disputes occur within the internal logic and language of the scientific field. In this article, we present those ideas and examine a case study within the history of quantum mechanics, a dispute inside the ongoing controversy about the foundations of quantum mechanics. We present the Wheeler-Everett and Bohr dialogue in terms of Bourdieu’s sociology of science and discuss the insights that such ideas can bring into the history of science.


Pierre Bourdieu; Hugh Everett; Niels Bohr; History of Physics; Quantum Mechanics

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24117/2526-2270.2020.i8.04


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ISSN: 2526-2270

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