Part 1 Determinism and inderterminism in classical perspective: determinism; indeterminism and probability. Part 2 How the phenomena demand quantum theory: the empirical basis of quantum theory; new probability models and their logic. Part 3 Mathematical foundations: the basic theory of quantum mechanics; composite systems, interaction, and measurement. Part 4 Questions of interpretation: critique of the standard interpretation; modal interpretation of quantum mechanics; EPR - when is a correlation not a mystery?; the problem of identical particles; indentical particles - individuation and modality.
The Scientific Image by van Fraassen, published by OUP in 1980, was co-winner of the Franklin J. Matchette Prize for a work of outstanding philosophic merit, and of the Lakatos Award for an outstanding contribution to the philosophy of science. It sold 4500 copies. More recently came Laws and Symmetry (1989), which has sold around 3000.
van Fraassen provides fresh and readable informal sketches of forbiddingly technical material ... Many will find van Fraassen's view attractive, and all readers will profit from learning about the points in which their thinking differs from his. I strongly recommend the book to anyone who aims at a thorough background in this bewildering subject. * Paul Teller, University of California, Davis, The Philosophical Review, Vol. 104, No. 3 (July 1995) * `Van Fraassen has written a challenging book, full of important insights, confronting lazy orthodoxies with finer distinctions than they are used to, and giving the reader food for thought at every turn.The best aspect of van Fraassen's work is that he engages in the intellectual pursuit with real determination, working out the details of his individualistic view with subtlety and skill. And, it is important to remind ourselves, he may yet be right ... this is a challenging and provocative book. It is indeed a tour de force.' drian Heathcote, Meta Science, Issue 3, '93 `Despite the difficulty of the terrain, van Fraassen makes it all look easy. With a bow of deference to other philosophers who have produced books on this subject, I must confess to finding Quantum Machanics the best I have read yet. I can see myself wandering through its pages again and again' Robert Clifton, Times Higher Education Supplement `...must surely be the most sophisticated attempt yet made by a practising philosopher to make sense of the subject, and to propose a metaphysics of science that will reconcile the demands of theory with those of common sense.' Roger Scruton, Times Literary Supplement `Van Fraassen has written a challenging book, full of important insights, confronting lazy orthodoxes with finer distinctions than they are used to, and giving the reader food for thought at every turn. The best aspect of Van Fraassen's work is that he engages in the intellectual pursuit with real determination, working out the details of his individualistic view with subtlety and skill.' Metascience Issue 3, 1993