PhilSci Archive

Talking at Cross-Purposes. How Einstein and Logical Empiricists never Agreed on what they were Disagreeing about

Giovanelli, Marco (2012) Talking at Cross-Purposes. How Einstein and Logical Empiricists never Agreed on what they were Disagreeing about. [Preprint]

This is the latest version of this item.

[img]
Preview
PDF
Download (646Kb) | Preview

    Abstract

    By inserting the dialogue between Einstein, Schlick and Reichenbach in a wider network of debates about the epistemology of geometry, the paper shows, that not only Einstein and Logical Empiricists came to disagree about the role, principled or provisional, played by rods and clocks in General Relativity, but they actually, in their life-long interchange, never clearly identified the problem they were discussing. Einstein’s reflections on geometry can be understood only in the context of his “measuring rod objection” against Weyl. Logical Empiricists, though carefully analyzing the Einstein-Weyl debate, tried on the contrary to interpret Einstein’s epistemology of geometry as a continuation of the Helmholtz-Poincaré debate by other means. The origin of the misunderstanding, it is argued, should be found in the failed appreciation of the difference between a “Helmhotzian” and a “Riemannian” tradition. The epistemological problems raised by General Relativity are extraneous to the first tradition and can only be understood in the context of the latter, whose philosophical significance, however, still needs to be fully explored.


    Export/Citation:EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
    Social Networking:

    Item Type: Preprint
    Keywords: Keywords: Moritz Schlick, Hans Reichenbach, Albert Einstein, Hermann Weyl, Epistemology of Geometry
    Subjects: General Issues > Conventionalism
    General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
    General Issues > Logical Positivism/Logical Empiricism
    Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
    Depositing User: Dr. Marco Giovanelli
    Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2012 02:07
    Last Modified: 17 Jul 2012 02:07
    Item ID: 9234
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/9234

    Available Versions of this Item

    Actions (login required)

    View Item

    Document Downloads