Abstract

Abstract:

In drafts of “The Kingfishers,” Charles Olson found that “uncertainty is the principle” not only of quantum mechanics but of public life. His amplification of subatomic indeterminacy into the passage of history bears comparison with the contemporary work of Karl Popper, from The Open Society and Its Enemies to the essay “Indeterminism in Quantum Physics and in Classical Physics.” Why did physical indeterminacy provide an historical paradigm in this period? And how did poets and philosophers bridge physics and the philosophy of history? Together, Olson and Popper reveal the high political and philosophical stakes involved in imagining uncertainty after 1945.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 443-458
Launched on MUSE
2016-04-28
Open Access
No
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