Guide to the Abner Shimony Papers, 1947-2009 ASP.2009.02

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ULS Archives & Special Collections

Summary Information

Repository
ULS Archives & Special Collections
Title
Abner Shimony Papers
Creator
Shimony, Abner
Collection Number
ASP.2009.02
Date
1947-2009
Extent
6.0 linear feet (7 document cases)
Abstract
Abner Shimony, an American philosopher of science and physicist, focused much of his work in both philosophy of science and in physics on the interaction between quantum mechanics and relativity theory. He has done substantial research on complemantarity in multiparticle quantum interferometry and in quantum entanglement. He has written books and research articles on the foundations of quantum mechanics. For his work in Philosophy of Science, he was awarded the 1996 Lakatos Prize. Digital reproductions of this collection are available online.

Preferred Citation

Abner Shimony Papers, 1947-2009, ASP.2009.02, Archives of Scientific Philosophy, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

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Biography

Abner Shimony was born in 1928 in Columbus, Ohio. He obtained his BA in Mathematics and in Philosophy from Yale University in 1948 and then received an MA in Philosophy from the University of Chicago in 1950. He holds two Ph.D.s: one in Philosophy granted by Yale Univesrity in 1953 and another in Physics from Princeton in 1962. His dissertation work at Princeton was supervised by Eugene Wigner. He has taught at Boston University for several decades, holding appointments in both the Physics and Philosophy Departments.

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Scope and Content Notes

This collection contains materials documenting the academic and professional career of Abner Shimony, who did research and teaching in the fields of Philosophy of Science and of Physics. It contains unpublished manuscripts, lecture notes, correspondence, teaching materials, dissertations, and some monographs. The correspondence is almost entirely professional. There are also notes from debates or discussions engaged in with specific colleagues at events held at colleges where he had been an invited speaker. The material is arranged into six series.

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Arrangement

The material is arranged into six series, some of which are further divided into subseries. More detailed information on each level of organization is provided by the scope and content notes for the collection as a whole and for the individual series and subseries.

Series I. Correspondence, 1958-2009

Series II. Lectures, 1981-2007

Series III. Shimony Manuscripts, 1950-2007

Series IV. Manuscripts Annotated by Shimony, undated

Series V. National Science Foundation, undated

Series VI. Library, 1958-2007

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

ULS Archives & Special Collections, June 2011

University of Pittsburgh Library System
Archives & Special Collections
Website: library.pitt.edu/archives-special-collections
412-648-3232 (ASC) | 412-648-8190 (Hillman)
Contact Us: www.library.pitt.edu/ask-archivist

Revision Description

 Added links within finding aid to access content selected for digitization. July 2012

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

Copyright

All rights reserved by the University of Pittsburgh.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Abner Shimony on July 1, 2009.

Existence and Location of Copies

Digital reproductions of this collection are available online.

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Controlled Access Headings

Genre(s)

  • Correspondence
  • Lectures
  • Manuscripts (Document genre)

Personal Name(s)

  • Shimony, Abner

Subject(s)

  • Complementarity (Physics)
  • General relativity (Physics)
  • Interferometry
  • Philosophy
  • Physics -- Philosophy
  • Quantum theory
  • Science -- Philosophy
  • Science -- Philosophy -- History -- Sources

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Previous Citation

Abner Shimony Papers, 1947-2009, ASP.2009.02, Archives of Scientific Philosophy, Special Collections Department, University of Pittsburgh.

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Collection Inventory

Series  I. Correspondence, 1958-2009 

Scope and Content Notes

This series contains both letters from the professional correspondence that Shimony maintained as a philosopher of science and as a physicist and as well contains some related semi-professional correspondence; there are some letters to the editors of popular scientific journals. The most important correspondents in the professional section are Rudolf Carnap and Eugene Wigner.

Subseries  1. Professional Correspondence - Scientific Topics, 1958-2006 

Scope and Content Notes

The correspondence in this sub-series is professional corresondence to physicists and philosophers working on problems of interest to Shimony. Rudolf Carnap is among the correspondents.

  BoxFolder
Baublitz, Milard - Correspondence on Bohmian Mechanics, 1995 11
  Folder
Bell, John - Obituary of, and Related Correspondence, 1990-1991 2
Online
  Folder
Carnap, Rudolf - Correspondence, 1969 3
Online
  Folder
Clauser, John F. - Correspondence, 1971-1972 4
Online
  Folder
Clauser, John F. - Correspondence, 1971-1972 4 B
  Folder
Cushing, James T. - Correspondence on Bohmian Mechanics, 1995 5
Online
  Folder
Cushing, James T. - Correspondence on Bohmian Mechanics, 1995 5 B
  Folder
Goldstein, Shelly - Correspondence on Bohmian Mechanics, 1995 6
Online
  Folder
Goldstein, Shelly - Correspondence on Bohmian Mechanics, 1995 6 B
  Folder
Wigner, Eugene P. - Correspondence, 1958-1976 7
Online
  Folder
Wigner, Eugene P. - Correspondence, 1958-1976 7 B

Subseries  2. Professional Correspondence - Other Topics, 1960-2007 

Scope and Content Notes

The material in this sub-series consists primarily of letters to editors of scientific journals or popular magazines on technical or semi-technical matters of philosophy of physics.

  BoxFolder
Ilchman, Warren F. - Letter to Shimony, 4/28/1975 18
  Folder
Letter to the Editor of the Boston Globe against the idea that Communism is Monolithic, 1981 9
Online
  Folder
Letter to "Physics Today" in reply to John Ziman's review of "Seach for a Naturalistic World View", 1994-1995 10
Online
  Folder
Palmer, Douglas - Letter from Shimony, 5/25/1976 11
Online
  Folder
Letter to Richard Healey concerning his review of Shimony's article "Search for a Naturalistic World View", 2000 12
Online
  Folder
Letter To Michael Kelly, managing editor of the "Journal of Philosophy", 2000 13
Online

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Series  II. Lectures, 1981-2007 

Scope and Content Notes

The lectures in this series are primarily lectures in history of science, specifically history of physics, addressed to a professional, but not specialized audience. There are some specialized lectures, however, and a set of course lectures.

  BoxFolder
"A Perspective on the Magic Decade, 1972-1982," Lecture at the meeting of teh Optical Society in San Jose, CA, 2007 114
Online
  Folder
"Early Reception of Bell's Theorem," Lecture at Conference in Honor of Alven Aspect, 2007 14
Online
  Folder
"Inquiries Concerning Human Understanding," Lecture at Mt. Holyoke College, 1981 16
Online
  Folder
"On the Nuclear Freeze," Lecture, 1984-1985 17
Online
  Folder
"Proposed Experiment to Explore the Onset of the Pauli Exclusion Principle," Lecture at Trinity College, Lecture at Conference on Spin of Statistics at Triste, 2007-2008 18
Online
  Folder
"The Family of Propensity Interpretations of Probability," Lecture at University of Bologna, 1988 19
Online
  Folder
"The Large, the Small, and the Human Mind," Tanner Lectures on Human Values, with Figures and Figure Captions, Cambride, 1995 20
  Folder
"The Uncertainty Principle," Lecture at Hillsdale College, MI, 2007 21
Online
  Folder
"Three Lectures in a Course on Naturalistic Epistemologie, ETH, Zurich, (German), 1984 20
Online

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Series  III. Shimony Manuscripts, 1950-2007 

Scope and Content Notes

There are both published and unpublished manuscripts in this series. In the unpublished manuscripts sub-series there are a small number of manuscripts that are transcripts of critical comments or responses that Shimony made about a talk given at a conference. There are also records of comments on manuscripts sent to Shimony by other philosphers of science. The items in the published manuscripts sub-series are manuscripts that are the precursors of articles presenting original research or thought that Shimony went on to have published in professional journals.

Subseries  1. Unpublished Manuscripts, 1969-2006 

Scope and Content Notes

These are materials connected with Shimony's professional work that were not published, or at least not published in this form. Some of the material may have been published as part of other works.

  BoxFolder
A Pedagogical Note on Material Implication, 1970-1980 21
Online
  Folder
Amplifying Personal Probability Theory: Comments on L. J. Savage's "Difficulties in the Theory of Personal Probability", 1967 2
Online
  Folder
Comment on Cambell's Evolutionary Epistemology, 1977 3
Online
  Folder
Comments and Questions concerning Profesosr Shimony's Lecture on "Philosophical Implications of Quantum Mechanics in d'Espagnat's Varenna Volume", 1971 4
  Folder
Comments on a Paper by Gage and Hestenes, 1972 5
Online
  Folder
Comments on a Paper by Gage and Hestenes, 1972 5 B
  Folder
Comments on a Paper by Savage, 1967 6
Online
  Folder
Comments on a Paper by Savage, 1967 6 B
  Folder
Comments on a talk by B. Mandelbrot, 1987 7
Online
  Folder
Comments on Ozawa, Stein, and Shimony, 1990-1991 8
Online
  Folder
Comments on Ozawa, Stein, and Shimony, 1990-1991 8 B
  Folder
Early Work on Hidden Variables, 1969 9
Online
  Folder
Early Work on Hidden Variables, 1969 9 B
  Folder
Introduction to Boston Colloquium on Quantum Entanglement and Information, 2009 10
Online
  Folder
"Noncontextual and Contextual Hidden Variables Models of Quantum Mechanics," A Compendium of Quantum Physics, Undated 11
Online
  Folder
Physics and the Explanation of Life, Address at AAAS Meeting, (See Wigner), 1969 12
Online
  Folder
Preliminary Comments on Quantum Mechanics, 1951 13
Online
  Folder
Question to D'Espagnat - at a Conference, perhaps Erice, 1977 14
Online
  Folder
"The Sense of Wonder," Hillel Foundation, Wellesby College, Rosh Ha-shanah, 1989 15
  Folder
"Whitehead and Quantum Physics," a Debate with Shimon Malin at Colgate University, 2005 16
Online
  Folder
"Whitehead and Quantum Physics," a Debate with Shimon Malin at Colgate University, 2005 16 B

Subseries  2. Published Manuscripts, 1947-2007 

Scope and Content Notes

The materials in this sub-series are materials connected with the various stages of production of Shimony's published scientific and philosophical articles. They can come from any stage of the development of the article.

  BoxFolder
"Alternative Schemes of Measurement," an abstract in Bulletin of American Physical Society, with Howard Stein, 1967 31
Online
  Folder
"Amplification of Belilnfante's Argument for the Nonexistance of Dispension-Free States," Foundations of Physics 18, 1988 2
  Folder
"An Analysis of Ensembles that are both Pre and Post-Selected," Foundations of Physics 35, 2005 3
Online
  Folder
"An Analysis of Stapp's 'A Bell-Type Theorem Without Hidden Variables,'" Foundations of Physics, 2006 4
Online
  Folder
"An Ontological Examination of Causation," Review of Metaphysics, 1947 5
  Folder
"Approximate Measurement in Quantum Mechanics," Physical Review, 1974 6
  Folder
"Bell's Theorem," Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2004 7
  Folder
"Bell's Theorem; Experimental Texts and Implications," Papers on Progress in Physics (supported by NSF), 1978 8
  Folder
"Bell's Theorem without Inequalities," American Journal of Physics 58, 1990 9
  Folder
Book Reviow of Arthur Pap, "An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science," Philosophical Review, 1964 10
  Folder
"Can the Fundamental Laws of Nature be the Results of Evolution?" Physics to Philosophy, 1999 11
  Folder
"Carnap on Entropy," Logical Empiricist, 1975 12
  Folder
"Coherence and the Axioms of Confirmation," Journal of Symbolic Logic, 1955 13
  Folder
Comment on David Tharrah's "Theses on Presuppositions," Review of Metaphysics, 1955 14
  Folder
"Comment on 'Nonlocal Charachter of Quantum Theory' by Henry P. Stapp," American Journal of Physics 65, 1997 15
  Folder
"Comment on Norsen's Defense of Einstein's 'Box Argument,'" Physical Review A, 2005 16
Online
  Folder
"Comments on the Papers of Professor S. Schiller and Professor A. Siegel," Synthese 14, 1962 17
  Folder
"Complimentarity of One-Particle and Two-Particle Interferences, Physical Review A, 1993 18
  Folder
"Cybernetics and Social Entities," Science, Politics, and Social Practice, 1995 19
  Folder
"Dialogue: Abner Shimony - Shimon Malin," Quantum Information Processing, 2006 20
  Folder
"Degree of Entanglement," Fundamental Problems in Quantum Theory, 1995 21
  Folder
"Demonstration of the Complementary of One- and Two-Photon Interference," Physical Review A (With A.F. Abouraddy, M.B. NAsr, B.E.A. Saleh, A.V. Sergienko, M.C. Teich), 2001 22
  Folder
"Depth and Breadth of John Bell's Physics," Physics in Perspective (With Roman Jackiw), 2002 23
  Folder
"Dr. Hegel's Geisteisschwitzengymnasium," Bostonia, 1993 24
  Folder
"Filters with Infinitely Many Components," Foundations of Physics, reprinted in Search for a Naturalistic World View vol. 2, 1971 25
  Folder
"Insolubility of the Quantum Measurement Problem for Unsharp Observations," Studies in History of Philosophy of Modern Physics (With Paul Busch), 1997 26
  Folder
Interview, Bromberg-Shimony, 2002 27
  Folder
"Introduction: The Character of Howard Stein's Work in Philosophy of History of Physics," Reading Natural Philosophy, 2002 28
  Folder
"Jaynes's Maximum Entrophy Prescription and Probability Theory," Journal of Statistical Physics vol. 3 (With K. Friedman), 1971 29
  Folder
"John S. Bell," New Directory of Scientific Biography, 2008-2009 30
Online
  Folder
"John S. Bell: Some Reminiscences and Reflections," Quantum [Un]Speakables, 2002 31
  BoxFolder
"Lattice of Verifiable Propositions of the Spin-1 System," Journal of Mathematical Physics (With B. Hultgrn), 1977 41
  Folder
"Limitations on Measurement," Foundations of Quantum Mechanics (With H. Stein), 1971 2
  Folder
"Logic of EPR," Annales de la Foundation Louis de Broglie 26, 2001 3
  Folder
"Measures of Entanglement," The Einstein, Podosky, Rosen Dilema - Sixty Years Later, Annals of Israel Physical Society, 1995 4
  Folder
"Multipath Interferometry of the Biphoton," Fundamental Problems in Quantum Theory, Academy of Sciences (With M.A. Horne), 1995 5
  Folder
"Non-cyclic Geometric Phases in a Proposed Two-Photon Interferometric Experiment," Journal of Physics A, 1993 6
  Folder
"On Carnap: Reflections of a Metaphysical Student," Synthese 93, 1992 7
  Folder
"On Quantum Non-locality, Special Relativity, and Counterfactual Reasoning," Revisiting the Foundations of Relativistic Physics, 2003 8
  Folder
"Optimal Distinction Between Two Non-orthogonal Quantum States," Physics, Leters A, 1995 9
  Folder
"Perception from an Evolutionayr Point of View," Journal of Philosophy, 1971 10
  Folder
"Philosophical and Experimental Perspectives on Quantum Physics," Epistemological and Experimental Perspectives on Quantum Physics, 1999 11
Online
  Folder
"Physical and Philosophical Issues in the Bohr-Einstein Debate," Search for a Naturalistic World View Vol. II, Natural Science and Metaphysics, 1988 12
  Folder
"Physical Reflections on EPR," the Dilemma of Einstein, Podolsky, and Rosen - Sixty Years Later, Annals of Israel Physical Society 12, 1995 13
  Folder
"Proposed Experiment to test Local Hidden-Variable Theories," Physical Review Letters (With J.F. Clauser, M.A. Horne, R.A. Holt), 1969 14
  Folder
"Proposed Molecular Test of Local Hidden-Variables Theories," Physical Review A 23, 1981 15
  Folder
"Proposed Neutron Interferometer test of some nonlinear variants of Wave Mechanics," Physical Review, 1979 16
  Folder
"Proposed Test of Bell's Inquiry without Detection Loophole by Using Entangled Rydberg Adams," Physical Review A, 1996 17
  Folder
"Reality of the Quantum World," Scientific American, 1978 18
  Folder
"Reality of the Quantum World," Scientific American, 1988 19
  Folder
"Review of A. Lande's, New Foundations of Quantum Mechanics," Physics Today, 1966 20
  Folder
"Review of B. d'Espagnat's 'Conceptual Foundations of Quantum Mecanics,' 2nd Edition," American Journal of Physics, 1978 21
Online
  Folder
"Review of Braithwaite's Scientific Explanation," and Addendum, "Further Comments on the Explication of Statistical Probability," Review of Metaphysics, 1954 22
Online
  Folder
"Review of Braithwaite's Scientific Explanation," and Addendum, "Further Comments on the Explication of Statistical Probability," Review of Metaphysics, 1954 22 B
  Folder
"Review of Kuhn et al. 'Sources for the History of Physics," Synthese, 1968 23
  Folder
"Review of M. Epperson, 'Quantum Mechanics and the Philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead,'" Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society, 2005 24
  Folder
"Review of Shimon Malin, 'Nature Loves to Hide,'" American Journal of Physics, 2002 25
  Folder
"Review of Shimon Malin, 'Nature Loves to Hide,'" American Journal of Physics, 2002 25 B
  Folder
"Review of 'The Uncertainty Principle of Foundations of Quantum Mechanics' by W.C. Price and S.S. Chissick," Science 99, 1978 26
Online
  Folder
"Role of the Observer in Quantum Theory," American Journal of Physics, 1963 27
  Folder
"Some Intellectual Obligations of Epistemological Naturalism," Reading Natural Philosophy, 2002 28
  Folder
"Stachel on Quantum Theory," Space, Time, Quantum Entanglement and Critical Epistemology Essays in Honor of John Stachel, 2003 29
Online
  Folder
"Statistics of Open Systems," Physical Review, 1962 30
  Folder
"Status of Hidden-Variable Theories," Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science IV, 1973 31
  Folder
"Status and Nature of Essences," The Review of Metaphysics, 1948 32
  Folder
"Stochastic Process of Kielson and Storer," Physics of Fluids, 1963 33
  Folder
"Tension in Bohm's Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics," Bohmian Mechanics and Quantum Theory: An Appraisal (With Millard Baublitz), 1996 34
  BoxFolder
"Theory of Information in the Discrete Communication System," Signal Corps Engineering Laboratories, 1955 51
  Folder
"Transient Now," The Philosophy of Paul Weiss, 1995 2
  Folder
"The Theory of Natural Selection as a Null Theory," Satistics in Science, 1990 3
Online
  Folder
"Two Interferometric Complementaries," Physical Review A, 1995 4
  Folder
"Two Particle Interferometry," Physical Review Letters, 1989 5
  Folder
"Vindication: A Reply to Paul Teller," Inducting Probability and Confirmation, 1975 6
Online
  Folder
"Wake Packet Reduction as a Medium of Communication," Foundations of Physics, 1977 7
  Folder
"Wigner's Contributions to the Quantum Theory of Mechanics," Proceedings of teh Wigner Centennial Conference, Pecs, Hungary, 2002 8

Series  IV. Manuscripts Annotated by Shimony Undated 

Scope and Content Notes

The manuscripts in this series are manuscripts by other authors that have been annotated by Shimony. Underlining is not considered annotation so no items that were solely annotated by underlining are to be found. Marginalia and extended commentary are considered annotation.

  BoxFolder
"Nonlocality and the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen Experiment as Understood through the Quantum Potential Approach," D. Bohm and B.J. Hiley, 1988 510
  Folder
"On a Realistic Theory for Quantum Physics," Durr, Detlef, Goldstein, Sheldon and Zanghi, Nino, 1988-1995 11

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Series  IV. National Science Foundation Undated 

Scope and Content Notes

This series consists of material connected to NSF proposals by Annemarie and Abner Shimony

  BoxFolder
"The Problem of Wholes and Parts in Anthropological Theory," NSF Proposals of Annemarie and Abner Shimony, 1984, 1990 512
Online

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Series  V. Library, 1958-2007 

Scope and Content Notes

The material here consists of published materials, mostly by other authors, that were retained by Shimony. Often they are annotated. There are dissertations for his Ph.D. in Physics from Princeton and in Philosophy from Yale and his M.A. from the University of Chicago.

Subseries  1. Dissertations 

Scope and Content Notes

The materials in this sub-series consist of Shimony's dissertations and his thesis for his M.A. and for his two Ph.D.s

  BoxFolder
"A Theory of Confirmation," A Dissertation Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School of Yale University in Candidacy for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, 1953 513
Online
  Folder
"Regression and Response in Thermodynamic Systems," A Dissertation Presented to the Faculty of Princeton University in Candidacy for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, 1962 14
Online
  Folder
"Whitehead's Theory of Linguistic Symbolism," A Dissertation Submitted to the Faculty of the Division of the Humanities of the University of Chicago in Candidacy for the Degree of Master of Arts in the Department of Philosophy, 1950 15
Online

Subseries  2. Books, 1960-2000 

Scope and Content Notes

This sub-series contains copies of Search for a Naturalistic World View vol.s 1 and 2.

  BoxItem
Search for a Naturalistic World View, Vol. 1, 1993 61
  Item
Search for a Naturalistic World View, Vol. 2, 2

Subseries  3. Books/ Journals edited by Others 

Scope and Content Notes

This subseries contains books and journal volumes edited by others and retained by Shimony - usually they are annotated.

  BoxItem
Annales de La Fondation Loiuis de Broglie, 2001 63
  Item
First Considerations, 1977 4
  Item
Induction, Probablility, and Confirmation, 1975 5
  Item
Journal de Physique, "Les Implications Conceptuelles de la Physique Quantique", 1981 6
  Item
L'Induzione e l'Ordine dell'Universo, 1978 7
  Item
Louis de Broglie Que Nous Avons Connu, 1988 8
  BoxItem
Nature & Function of Scientific Theories, 1970 71
  Item
New Techniques an Ideas in Quantum Measurement Theory, 1986 2
  Item
Philosophy of Paul Weiss, 1995 3
  Item
Philosophy of Science, 2000 4
  Item
Physics as Natural Philosophy, 1982 5
  Item
Quantum Measurement Beyond Paradox, 1998 6
  Item
Science, Understanding, and Justice, 2006 7
  Folder
"75 Reasons to become a Scientist," American Scientist, 1988 9

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