David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 39 (3):298-311 (2008)
Among the many tensions and oppositions in play in the early twentieth century, one—the divide between classical and modern physics—has retrospectively overshadowed our understandings of the period. This paper investigates when and why physicists first started using the term ‘classical’ to describe their discipline. Beginning with Boltzmann and ending with the 1911 Solvay Congress, on a broad scale this story constitutes a powerful instance of the circulation of a rich cultural image. First deployed in understandings of literature, music, art and schooling, the concept of the classical within the physics community came to be invested with a highly specific meaning, which in turn formed the basis for the widespread popularization of a new physical worldview after World War I. But on a finer scale, displaying the diverse, contrasting and controversial concepts of classical theory invoked by different physicists around 1900, and charting the emergence of our present understanding with the rise of relativity and quantum theory, reveals significant tussles over the meaning and value of different intellectual approaches. Here I use these tensions to investigate the interrelations between research programs and the broader, framing concepts with which physicists describe their experience of disciplinary change.Keywords: Energetics; Statistical mechanics; Relativity; Quantum theory; Classical physics; Ludwig Boltzmann
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
Thomas S. Kuhn (1981). Black-Body Theory and the Quantum Discontinuity, 1894-1912. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 32 (1):71-85.
Torsten Wilholt (2008). When Realism Made a Difference: The Constitution of Matter and its Conceptual Enigmas in Late 19th Century Physics. Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 39 (1):1-16.
Robert G. Hudson (1997). Classical Physics and Early Quantum Theory: A Legitimate Case of Theoretical Underdetermination. Synthese 110 (2):217-256.
John Blackmore (1996). Ludwig Boltzmann: His Later Life and Philosophy, 1900-1906. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47 (4):630-632.
Martin J. Klein (1961). Max Planck and the Beginnings of the Quantum Theory. Archive for History of Exact Sciences 1 (5):459--479.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Tore Frängsmyr & Gösta Ekspong (eds.) (1993). Physics 1981-1990. World Scientific.
Gordon Scott Belot (1996). Whatever is Never and Nowhere is Not: Space, Time, and Ontology in Classical and Quantum Gravity. Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
Gösta Ekspong (ed.) (1997). Physics, 1991-1995. World Scientific.
Ashok Gangadean (2002). Logos of Dao : The Primal Logic of Translatability. Asian Philosophy 12 (3):213 – 221.
Anthony J. Steinbronn (2007). Worldviews: A Christian Response to Religious Pluralism. Concordia Pub. House.
Marshall Thomsen (2007). A Course Treating Ethical Issues in Physics. Science and Engineering Ethics 13 (1):117-127.
Jacob Rosen (2012). Motion and Change in Aristotles Physics 5. 1. Phronesis 57 (1):63-99.
Ardnés Rivadulla (2004). The Newtonian Limit of Relativity Theory and the Rationality of Theory Change. Synthese 141 (3):417 - 429.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads4 ( #405,327 of 1,725,443 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #349,420 of 1,725,443 )
How can I increase my downloads?