Ernst Mach: Physicist and Philosopher

Overview

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 ...

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Hardcover (1975)
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Overview

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 [1960] of Mach's celebrated The Science of Mechanics: A Critical and Historical Account of its Development, for which he prepared a new Introduction).

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Table of Contents

Ernst Mach — His Life as a Teacher and Thinker.- On Mach’s Contributions to the Analysis of Sensations.- Mach’s Contribution to the Development of Gas Dynamics.- On Mach’s Curiosity about Shockwaves.- Ernst Mach and Contemporary Physics.- The Genesis of Mach’s Early Views on Atomism.- Mathematical Implications of Mach’s Ideas: Positivistic Geometry, The Clarification of Functional Connections.- Ernst Mach: Physics, Perception and the Philosophy of Science.- Mach, Einstein and the Search for Reality.- Mach’s Principle and Einstein’s Theory of Gravitation.- Appendices.- A. The Importance of Ernst Mach’S Philosophy of Science for Our Times.- B. Ernst Mach and the Unity of Science.- C. Ernst Mach and the Empiricist Conception of Science.- D. Ernst Mach: Biographical Data.- E. Ernst Mach: Bibliography.- Index of Names.

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