The Web Site of Science-Philosopher Viv Pope

April 2003

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A telecommunications engineer turned philosopher, Viv Pope's interest in physics-philosophy began in 1954 when, as an amateur astronomer, he had a short correspondence with Albert Einstein. Not being classifiable in the usual way as 'either Arts or Science', his ideas on relativity and quantum theory were developed extramurally in private discussions with, on the one hand, philosophers such as Alfred Ayer, Karl Popper and Gilbert Ryle and, on the other hand, with scientists such as John Bell, Herman Bondi and Victor Weisskopf.

In 1966, at the age of thirty-five, with his ideas already well-formed, Pope, who had until then regarded himself as a 'free-range philosopher', conceded to his advisers to pursue his studies in an approved academic setting and entered the University College of Wales, Bangor. After graduating in Philosophy of Science, with ancillary subjects Psychology and Sociology, he became a lecturer in Philosophy, Logic and History of Science at a college in the Midlands of England, where he also taught science subjects for the Open University. He also founded and edited a journal called Phi, the Philosophical Viewspaper.

Meanwhile, he continued his researches in the way they had begun, extramurally, and in wide-ranging - often very protracted - dialogues with philosophers and scientists. The problems these dialogues addressed had as much to do with sociology and psychology as with physics and thus remained, throughout, academically unclassifiable. (The record of this correspondence is archived in County Hall, Swansea, UK, see Archives reference D/D NVP/1-17, )

Eventually, in order to concentrate on his researches, he retired early from his teaching posts and became engaged in an ongoing Maths/Philosophy project at Keele University, England. His researches propose a radical reappraisal of the standard, conventionally divisive interpretations of relativity and quantum theory which, he maintains, are logically reconcilable within the context of a properly articulated empiricist philosophy. This he calls Normal Realism, which he describes as being essentially the relativist (observationist) philosophy of Mach, but avoiding the twin logical pitfalls of post-Machian 'Positivism' and the 'Realist' reaction it has engendered.

On his own and also in collaboration with his Keele Maths colleague, Dr. A. D. Osborne, he has written extensively on subjects related to physics in general and relativistic philosophy in particular. He and his wife, Mary, have been married more than fifty years, having three daughters and eight grandchildren. The couple now live on the Gower Peninsula, Wales, where she helps him with his researches, and they often host symposia for visiting scientists and philosophers.