In the history of philosophical thought the problem discrete and continual was comprehended by Kant who gave it the form of antinomy, having indicated by that its deeply dialectic character. Discussing this antinomy, Heisenberg seeks to show that opposition of divisibility and indivisibility arises owing to backwardness of epistemo-logical installations. "The reason of emergence of antinomy, – he writes, – consists eventually in our wrong belief as if we have the right to apply the evident representations to that occurs in the world of extremely small objects" (2, page 1
The philosophy of modern natural sciences, according to Heisenberg and Bohr, developed from philosophical generalization of results of quantum mechanics. Such generalization as these scientists believe, is given in that interpretation of quantum mechanics which authors they are (Heisenberg calls it the Copenhagen interpretation).
When Heisenberg says that all elementary particles are as if made of one material, thereby he also points to a fundamental sign of concept of a matter. This material as Heisenberg believes, and it is possible to call a matter. Heisenberg truly notes an essential sign of this concept, but says that that general that is the cornerstone of all transformations, it is possible to call not only a matter, but also energy. Thereby Heisenberg points to the most essential in the content of concept of a matter namely on its constancy at all transformations because the same can be told and about energy.
On the other hand, the general tendency of human thinking conducted, Heisenberg, to the increasing belief in exact rational concepts notes, and this tendency contacted scepticism of rather inexact concepts of ordinary language. The modern physics, continues it, increased this scepticism and at the same time opposed revaluation of scientific concepts and at last the scepticism, as confirmation of that the most exact science cannot but use inexact concepts (that is such which are not defined by means of the system of axioms and definitions forming the logical basis of science), Heisenberg points to concept of infinity of mathematics which conducts to contradictions and without which, however, it is almost impossible to construct the most important sections of this science.
Heisenberg, undoubtedly, is right when claims that the change in ideas of reality made by new physics, especially quantum theory cannot be simple continuation of the previous development. Here it is about the real withdrawal pains in structure of natural sciences and about turn in thinking. Heisenberg considers the philosophical conclusions from development of new physics relating to problems of reality and a matter, space and time, logic of scientific knowledge, etc. compares them with old philosophical traditions.
Claims for generality continue to work, but it does not mean their realization in the sense that all natural phenomena can be explained on the basis of mechanics. And, nevertheless, the big sphere of experience quite is definitely described in concepts of mechanics and can be always presented by these concepts. Heisenberg notices in this regard that the general and special coexist and in the general structure of knowledge and make essential and necessary feature of its development.
Not simply objective reality, but knowledge of it as it is means of comprehension of the world appears object of research of modern science. The statement about objective existence of those things which make result of research, appears in itself a serious problem.
Heisenberg does not carry out distinction between methodological and philosophical approaches, and owing to this fact in its analysis of scientific knowledge there are unjustified transfers of the received estimates and results from one approach on another. Pointing to radical distinction between Democritus and Platon's concepts, he, in effect, means their philosophical doctrines. But thereby Heisenberg loses sight of deep similarity of their physical theories, directly transferring estimates of their philosophical concepts to estimates of the principles of physical theories.