Saving Mach's View on Atoms

According to a common belief concerning the Mach-Boltzmann debate on atoms, the new experiments performed in microphysics at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries confirmed Boltzmann's atomic hypothesis and disproved Mach's anti-atomic view. This paper intends to show that this belief is partially unjustified. Mach's view on atoms consists in fact of different kinds of arguments. While the new experiments in microphysics refute indeed his scientific arguments against the atomic hypothesis, his epistemological arguments are unaffected. In this regard, Mach's epistemological approach remains relevant for today's discussion on the status of the notion of atom
Keywords Mach  Atomism  Anti-realism  Instrumentalism  Boltzmann
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.2307/20722524
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Mario Bunge (1971). Mach's Philosophy of Science. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).

View all 25 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Stathis Psillos (2011). Moving Molecules Above the Scientific Horizon: On Perrin's Case for Realism. [REVIEW] Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 42 (2):339-363.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

46 ( #74,008 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #289,836 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.