At the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C., 27 December 1966, a symposium was held to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of Ernst Mach, the physicist who was vitally concerned about philosophical foundations. It was arranged by Section B on Physics, and co-sponsored by Section L on the History and Philosophy of Science, as well as by the History of Science Society. Dr. Allen W. Astin, Vice-President of the Association and Director of the National Bureau of Standards, presided. Representing the Austrian ambassador, Dr. Ernst Lemberger, a few opening remarks on his behalf were made by Dr. Walter Hietsch. Also present was Dr. Ernest A. Lederer, a grandson of Ernst Mach. The contributors, to the symposium, mostly physicists, represented different backgrounds and differing points of view; they presented their review of Mach's work primarily in the light of subsequent developments. They all, however, share a common interest in the life and works of Ernst Mach. Two of them, Otto BlUh and Peter G. Bergmann, received their doctoral degrees in theoretical physics from the University of Prague. Karl Menger received his doctoral degree in mathematics from the University of Vienna (he is responsible for the latest edition  of Mach's celebrated The Science of Mechanics: A Critical and Historical Account of its Development, for which he prepared a new Introduction).
Ernst Mach -- A Deeper Look has been written to reveal to English-speaking readers the recent revival of interest in Ernst Mach in Europe and Japan. The book is a storehouse of new information on Mach as a philosopher, historian, scientist and person, containing a number of biographical and philosophical manuscripts publihsed for the first time, along with correspondence and other matters published for the first time in English. The book also provides English translations of Mach's controversies with leading physicists and psychologists, such as Max Planck and Carl Stumpf, and offers basic evidence for resolving Mach's position on atomism and Einstein's theory of relativity. Mach's scientific, philosophical and personal influence in a number of countries -- Austria, Germany, Bohemia and Yugoslavia among them -- has been carefully explored and many aspects detailed for the first time. All of the articles are eminently readable, especially those written by Mach's sister. They are deeply researched, new interpretations abound, and the bibliography includes recent works by and about Mach from over a dozen countries. The book also contains many articles by or about Mach's contemporaries, including Ostwald, Dingler, Weichert and, especially, Einstein. Finally, and most intriguingly, the original ideas of Japanese scholars are presented, built on Mach's philosophy. These demonstrate how Mach's world view is currently contributing to the solution of contemporary philosophical problems.
This work gives insight into the philosophical influence Ernst Mach (1838-1916) has had on leading Viennese physicists and philosophers of his time by relating the ideas and works of these men to Mach's phenomenalism. The relation between Mach and the University of Vienna Philosophical Society is also examined. In the process little-known documents and correspondence from Mach are presented. Additionally, this extensive research helps clarify the conflict between Mach and most physicists over the reality of atoms and places the claim of Mach and his followers to represent science and philosophy of science against the claim of Planck and Einstein that phenomenalism and positivism were not even compatible with science. Audience: This is an ideal book for both graduate students and scholars in the field of history and philosophy of science.
By exploring Mach's views on science as well as philosophy, this book attempts to wrest him free from his customary association with logical positivism and to reinterpret him on his own terms as a natural philosopher and naturalist about human knowledge. Physicists, psychologists, philosophers of science, historians of twentieth-century thought and culture, and educators will find this volume a valuable help in interpreting Mach's ideas.
This edited volume features essays written in honor of Ernst Mach. It explores his life, work, and legacy. Readers will gain a better understanding of this natural scientist and scholar who made major contributions to physics, the philosophy of science, and physiological psychology. The essays offer a critical inventory of Mach’s lifework in line with state-of-the-art research and historiography. It begins with physics, where he paved the way for Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. The account continues with Mach's contributions in biology, psychology, and physiology pioneering with an empiricist and gestalthaft Analysis of Sensations. Readers will also discover how in the philosophy of science he served as a model for the Vienna Circle with the Ernst Mach Society as well as paved the way for an integrated history and theory of science. Indeed, his influence extends far beyond the natural sciences -- to the Vienna Medical School and psychoanalysis (R. Bárány, J. Breuer, S. Freud), to literature (Jung Wien, R. Musil), to politics (F. Adler, Austro-Marxism and the Viennese adult education), to arts between Futurism and Minimal Art as well as to social sciences between the liberal school (J. Schumpeter, F. A. von Hayek) and empirical social research (P. Lazarsfeld und M. Jahoda).
Section Guide 1. Prolegomena 2. Biographical Sketch 3. Epistemology 4. Textbook Ontology 1. PROLEGOMENA While both philosophers and historians almost always love truth and the search for truth, and both often carry out extensive research, there can be noticeable differences when historians write about the history of philosophy and when philosophers write about it. Philosophers often look at the past with categories and interests taken from the present or at the least from the recent past, but many historians, especially those who love research for its own sake, will try to look at the past from a perspective either from that period or from even earlier. Both camps look for roots, but view them with different lenses and presupposi tions. This prolegomena has been added to prepare some philosophers for what will hopefully only be the mildest of shocks, for seeing the history of philosophy in a way which does not treat what is recent or latest as best, but which loves the context of ideas for its own sake, a context which can be very foreign to contemporary likes and dislikes. To be sure, we historians can deceive ourselves as easily as philosophers, but we tend to do so about different things.
This book is, in some ways, a sequel to several publications on a single theme. The theme is that the time is now ripe for a radical change in thinking about contemporary physics, which, apart from having become too jargonised, is characterised by its philosophical rootlessness and theoretical anarchy. This book is intended to be self-contained and knowledge of Physics is not strictly a requirement. However, it will be of great interest to anyone who has come to question some of the more fanciful dogmatic notions of Modern Physics such as 'Black Holes' and 'The Big Bang' on the macro-scale and 'quarks' on the micro-scale, notions which we have, and never can have, any direct evidence for. Modern Physics and Cosmology have parted company with common sense to the extent that they now scarcely share the same language. A new opportunity presents itself, however, of rectifying this situation. This is by reconnecting Physics to its roots in Natural Philosophy by means of the method of Linguistic Analysis developed by the commonsense philosophers at the first half of the 20th century in the tradition set by Ernst Mach and Ludwig Wittgenstein. For nigh on a century since the arbitrary bifurcation of 'Physics' and 'Philosophy' was imposed, those two equally truncated thought-systems have been held apart by mutual ignorance of what was happening in each other's territory. The issue between these two factions is, basically, that of language. In the one faction is the more or less uncontrolled, centuries-long build-up of theoretical esotery and associated jargon, whereas in the other the main concern is to preserve the commonsense coherence of evolving language. This 'Linguistic' movement in Philosophy begins with the empiricism of Ernst Mach who, as a physics-philosopher, stood with a foot in each camp. Mach's approach to Physics was to discover and logically determine the most efficient, least elaborated interpretations of natural phenomena and render these in the plainest possible language. This phenomenalist approach of Mach became the inspiration for the Relativity of his philosophical protégé, Einstein. However, the way in which Einstein sought to develop Mach's phenomenalism was not approved by Mach, for whom any talk of hidden and inscrutable, 'underlying mechanisms' such as those of 'atoms' and 'light travelling' between them in vacuo was anathema. The main aim of this book is to review the relevance of Mach's physics-philosophy to both Relativity and Quantum Theory. The subject is that of the nature of fundamental physical phenomena, including matter, space, time, motion and light. This is with special attention to the concept of 'light-speed' in the Second Postulate of Einstein's Special Relativity, which asserts the constancy, for all observers, of the 'speed of light in vacuo'. Also re-examined, from the same Neo-Machian standpoint, is the notion of in vacuo 'field-forces', of 'gravitational, ' 'electrostatic', 'magnetostatic' and 'nuclear' conception.
A distinguished mathematician traces the history of science, illustrating philosophy's ongoing role, explaining technology's erosion of the rapport between the two fields, and offering suggestions for their reunion. 1962 edition.
xi should hope for "first and foremost" from any historical investigation, including his own, was that "it may not be too tedious. " II That hope is generally realized in Mach's historical writings, most of which are as lively and interesting now as they were when they appeared. Mach did not follow any existing model of historical or philosophical or scientific exposition, but went at things his own way combining the various approaches as needed to reach the goals he set for himself. When he is at his best we get a sense of the Mach whom William James met on a visit to Prague, the Mach whose four hours of "unforgettable conversation" gave the forty year old, well traveled James the strongest "impression of pure intellectual genius" he had yet received, and whose "absolute simplicity of manner and winningness of smile" captivated him completely. 12 Consider, for example, the first few chapters of this book, Principles of the Theory of Heat, which Mach devotes to the notion of temperature, that most fundamental of all thermal concepts. He begins by trying to trace the path that leads from our sensations of hot and cold to a numerical temperature scale.
Introduction: Historical background.--The law of causality and experience (1908)--The importance of Ernst Mach's philosophy of science for our times (1917)--Physical theories of the twentieth century and school philosophy (1929)--Is there a trend today toward idealism in physics? (1934)--The positivistic and the metaphysical conception of physics (1935)--Logical empiricism and the philosophy of the Soviet Union (1935)--Philosophical misinterpretations of the quantum theory (1936)--What "length" means to the physicist (1937)--Determinism and indeterminism in modern physics (1938)--Ernst Mach and the unity of science (1938).
After his failure to replace metaphysics by a linguistic approach, Ludwig Boltzmann came to identify the philosophy of science with methodology which, in turn, he considered to be part of science itself, and thus not part of philosophy at all. His definition of philosophy as metaphysics meant that, from his point of view, all philosophers were metaphysicians, himself included. Boltzmann the philosopher was advised on the improvement of his Weltanschauung by Franz Brentano; to such effect that, by the summer of 1905, Boltzmann appeared to be close to a form of critical realism. However, the stronger this realism became, the more inconsistent it seemed to be with his `Mach plus pictures' methodology of science. During this period, he planned to write a book, first on metaphysics and then later on what he called `A priori probability' and what he considered to be its shortcomings. Apparently, the book was never completed. All know Boltzmann the great physicist. Much less widely known is that he was an original philosopher: one who had a great impact on early 20th Century Viennese philosophy, beginning with Wittgenstein and the Vienna Circle and extending even to Popper and Feyerabend. Blackmore's delving into Boltzmann's correspondence, coupled with his unparalleled knowledge of Boltzmann's final years, allows him to present Boltzmann in an entirely new light to readers in the English language. For physicists, philosophers and historians.