Did Heisenberg have a soul?

In 1955, Werner Heisenberg traveled to Scotland to give a series of lectures which were later published as the book Physics and Philosophy (both originally in English). In it, Heisenberg lays out a (dare I say surprisingly?) cogent exposition and defense of  The Copenhagen Interpretation (a term which he coined in this work, although it turns out it’s really just his interpretation and there are a number of different Copenhagen-type interpretations) and discusses a number of related issues. The book is interesting both as a historical artifact giving insight into the thoughts of one of the founders of quantum mechanics, and as a highly accessible (if biased) introduction to issues in the ontology/epistemology of modern physics. It made me feel things, so I’m going to write a second post with various scattered reactions; but first, here’s a brief summary/background of the work, along with one of those scatterred reactions. The teaser: according to Wikipedia, Heisenberg was a devout Lutheran; did he believe in the soul, and if so, is the existence/justification of a soul central to his interpretation? Continue reading “Did Heisenberg have a soul?”