Pluralism and the Hypothetical in Heinrich Hertz’s Philosophy of Science

In Michael Heidelberger & Gregor Schiemann (eds.), The Significance of the Hypothetical in the Natural Sciences. de Gruyter (2009)
Abstract
In this paper I argue against readings of Hertz that overly assimilate him into the thought of late 20th century anti-realists and pluralists. Firstly, as is well-known, various images of the same objects are possible according to Hertz. However, I will argue that this envisaged pluralism concerns the situation before all the evidence is considered i. e. before we can decide whether the images are correct and appropriate. Hertz believes in final and decisive battles of the kind he participated in while doing experiments in electrodynamics. Secondly, I will argue that the concept of representation is still quite appropriately applied to important aspects of images, namely when it comes to fundamental physical equations. In this context Hertz explicitly allows that “characteristics of our image, which claim to represent observable relations of things, do really and correctly correspond to them” (Hertz [1894] 1956, 9). A final consideration is Hertz’s consistent appeal to the concept of the hypothesis. I will argue that his use of the concept does not indicate that he contributed to an increasing hypothetization of science, if this trend is understood in a strong sense, i. e. as the belief that the correctness of scientific theories cannot be established for principled reasons. As mentioned, when it comes to experimental evidence Hertz believes in decisive battles.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 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 Translate to english
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive Andreas Hüttemann, Pluralism and the Hypothetical in Heinrich Hertz’s Philosophy of Science
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

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
J. J. C. Smart (1951). Heinrich Hertz and the Concept of Force. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 29 (1):36 – 45.
Peter Achinstein (1994). Explanation V. Prediction: Which Carries More Weight? PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1994:156 - 164.
A. Nordmann (2000). Heinrich Hertz: Scientific Biography and Experimental Life. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 31 (3):537-549.
Peter C. Kjaergaard (2002). Hertz and Wittgenstein's Philosophy of Science. Journal for General Philosophy of Science 33 (1):121-149.
J. Mattingly (2001). The Replication of Hertz's Cathode Ray Experiments. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 32 (1):53-75.
John Preston (2006). Janik on Hertz and the Early Wittgenstein. Grazer Philosophische Studien 73 (1):83-95.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2010-05-22

Total downloads

104 ( #10,768 of 1,102,990 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

15 ( #12,112 of 1,102,990 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


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