| More

The Universe and the limits of Knowledge: Bohm’s Notion of the Implicate Order of Nature

Views: 718 Downloads: 121
Dimitrios Galanis-Kolintzas
Dimitrios Galanis-Kolintzas


According to Bohm the whole scientific description of the Universe is governed by fragmentation of our perception of what reality is. Physics’ tendency of acknowledging the ultimate structure of matter in the elementary particles has caused a widespread fragmentary view of the Universe. Thus, Physics seems to be unable to conceive the “undivided wholeness of the universe” and to acknowledge in that Wholeness the common, single bed of the whole of reality. According to Bohm that single bed of nature, Implicate Order, is the single origin of both mind and matter. Inside the multidimensional Implicate Order, a universal enfoldment of everything prevails. The Implicate Order coheres deterministically to the Universe and the depths of its inwardness are totally unknown to us, since we humans are part of its wholeness too. Physics as a science provides us only with abstractive descriptions of the Universe, since science offers only abstractions from reality. These abstractive descriptions are what constitute the Explicate Order of the Universe. Thus, each belief we have that through the science of Physics we are able to arrive at an ultimate deciphering of the Universe is inherently illusive. The science of Physics can provide us with knowledge only in the fragmentary level of the Explicate, that means analyzable, Order of the Universe recognizing its cognitive limits in front of the Implicate Order. The laws that govern the Implicate Order of the Universe are unknowable and unanalyzable by man and in the depths of these laws Bohm insists that a final truth about reality cannot be fixed.


fragmentation; Wholeness; Universe; Physics; elementary particles; Explicate Order; Implicate Order; common background; quantum physics; single origin of everything; universal enfoldment; mind; reality; Theory of Everything; Metaphysics

Full Text:



Bohm, D. (1984). Causality and Chance in Modern Physics. London and New York: Routledge and Kegan Paul Ltd, first published in 1957.

Bohm, D. (2002). Wholeness and The Implicate Order. 2nd ed. London and New York: Routledge Classics, first published in 1980.

Bohm, D. & Hiley, B. J. (1993). The Undivided Universe: An ontological interpretation of quantum theory. London and New York: Routledge.

Clegg, B. (2017). 30-second Quantum Theory, the 50 most important thought-provoking quantum concepts, each explained in half a minute. London: Icon Books, Ivy Press.

Dear, P. (2007). The Intelligibility of Nature: How science makes sense of the world. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, first published in 2006.

Field, G. B. & Chaisson, E. J. (2014). The Invisible Universe. Heraklion: Editions of the University of Crete (edition in Greek language), first published in 1995.

Gubser, S. S. (2017). The Little Book of String Theory. Heraklion: Editions of the University of Crete (edition in Greek language), first published in 2010 by Princeton University Press.

Hawking, S. (2016). A Brief History of Time: from Big Bang to Black Holes. 6th ed. London: Bantam Press, first published in 1988.

Hawking, S. & Mlodinow, L. (2011). The Grand Design, New answers to the ultimate questions of life. London: Bantam Press, first published in 2010.

Heisenberg, W. (1978). Physics and Philosophy. Athens: Kalvos Editions (edition in Greek language), first published in 1959.

Jeans, Sir J. (1993). Physics and Philosophy. Thessaloniki: Vanias Editions (edition in Greek language), first published in 1981.

Kaku, M. (2016). Hyperspace: a scientific odyssey through parallel universes, time warps, and the tenth dimension. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.

Nilsson, N. J. (2014). Understanding Beliefs. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press.

Planck, M. (1998). Sinn und Grenzen der exakten Wissenschaft, Mit einem Nachwort herausgegeben von Fritz Kraft. Thessaloniki: University Studio Press (edition in Greek language), first published in 1952.

Polkinghorne, J. (1997). Beyond Science. Athens: P. Travlos – E. Kostaraki Editions (edition in Greek language), first published in 1996 by Cambridge University Press.

Redhead, M. (2006). From Physics to Metaphysics. Heraklion: Editions of the University of Crete (edition in Greek language), first published in 1995 by Cambridge University Press.

Theodosiou, S. (2008). Philosophy of Physics: from Descartes to the Theory of Everything. Athens: Diavlos Editions (edition only in Greek language).


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2020 Dimitrios Galanis-Kolintzas

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.