HansReichenbach, a philosopher of science who was one of five students in Einstein's first seminar on the general theory of relativity, became Einstein's bulldog, defending the theory against criticism from philosophers, physicists, and popular commentators. This book chronicles the development of Reichenbach's reconstruction of Einstein's theory in a way that clearly sets out all of its philosophical commitments and its physical predictions as well as the battles that Reichenbach fought on its behalf, in both the (...) academic and popular press. The essays include reviews and responses to philosophical colleagues, such as Moritz Schlick and Hugo Dingler; polemical discussions with physicists Max Born and D. C. Miller; as well as popular articles meant to clarify aspects of Einstein's theories and set out their philosophical ramifications for the layperson. At a time when physics and philosophy were both undergoing revolutionary changes in content and method, this book is a window into the development of scientific philosophy and the role of the philosopher. (shrink)
The HansReichenbach Papers comprise published and unpublished manuscripts, lectures, correspondence, photographs, drawings, and related materials from his early student days until his death. The correspondence contains about 9000 pages to and from Reichenbach; it ranges over his entire career. Those with whom Reichenbach maintained lifelong contact include Rudolf Carnap, Ernst Cassirer, Herbert Feigl, Philip Frank, Carl Hempel, Sidney Hook, Paul Oppenheim and Wolfgang Pauli. In addition, there is significant correspondence with von Astor, Bergmann, Bertalanffy, Dingler, (...) Dubislav, Einstein, Fraenkel, Frank, Freundlich, Grelling, Grünbaum, Paul Hertz, Hutten, Jordan, Landé, von Laue, Lewin, C.I. Lewis, Charles Morris, Nagel, Neurath, Northrop, Planck, Quine, Regener, Rougier, Salmon, Schillp, Schlick, Scholz, Schrödinger, Martin Strauss, Tarski, Vaihinger, Weiss, Williams, Zawarski, and Zilsel. The correspondence provides a valuable source of information about Reichenbach’s personal and philosophical development. It also provides primary source material for research into one of the 20th century most influential philosophical movements. Reichenbach’s manuscripts include many of his own notes as a student. Some go as far back as his university days in science and mathematics. Some of the most significant of these notes are those taken by him as a student of Albert Einstein on the special and general theories of relativity. There are four such notebooks dating from 1918. In addition there are his student notes on astronomy, Planck and electricity, Hilbert’s “Statistical Mechanics” and “Problems and Principles.” He also kept many of his lecture notes from Germany, Turkey, and the United States. The number of lectures runs to over 100 and provides a glimpse into the problems of philosophy and how he presented them to his students. Many of his lectures discussed principles of radio and issues in philosophy and modern science, often in form of popularizations of questions in relativity and quantum theory delivered on radio programs for a wider audiences. In addition to this there are an abundance of notes, calculations, and diagrams used to draft both published and unpublished papers. (shrink)
HansReichenbach was a formidable figure in early-twentieth-century philosophy of science. Educated in Germany, he was influential in establishing the so-called Berlin Circle, a companion group to the Vienna Circle founded by his colleague Rudolph Carnap. The movement they founded—usually known as "logical positivism," although it is more precisely known as "scientific philosophy" or "logical empiricism"—was a form of epistemology that privileged scientific over metaphysical truths. Reichenbach, like other young philosophers of the exact sciences of his generation, (...) was deeply impressed by the far-reaching changes in physics brought about by Einstein's special and general theories of relativity. Reichenbach responded to scientific advances by doing fundamental work in space-time theories, in quantum mechanics, in statistical mechanics, and in the development of probability theory—making him the most important philosopher of physics in the first generation of logical empiricism. Forced from his academic position by the Nazi race laws in 1933, Reichenbach wrote _Experience and Prediction_ at the University of Istanbul, where had had fled, expressly to introduce logical positivism to English speakers. In the two decades following World War II, during the explosion of scientific advances in North America, logical positivism was the reigning theory of the philosophy of science and Reichenbach was at the peak of his career. But, inevitably, support for logical positivism began to wane as it became obvious that the justification of scientific theories could not be entirely resolved by relying on strictly formal, technical processes. The growth of the discipline of the history of philosophy of science, which has created an audience of scholars eager for seminal classics in scientific philosophy, and the evidence supporting a historicist paradigm within logical positivism are two important reasons to make _Experience and Prediction_ available once again. "HansReichenbach's_ Experience and Prediction_ is one of the most important books in twentieth-century philosophy of science. Its author was, along with Rudolf Carnap, one of the two principal ambassadors to North America of the exciting new European philosophical movement known here under the names 'Logical Positivism' and 'Scientific Philosophy.' In 1938, when the book was published, Reichenbach was an exile from his native Germany, teaching in Istanbul, Turkey, and about to emigrate to the United States to take up a prestigious position at UCLA. He wrote_ Experience and Prediction_ in English as his calling card to his new American colleagues. More than any other single book,_ Experience and Prediction_ set the agenda for the new discipline of the philosophy of science that was to emerge after World War II as, perhaps, the most exciting new area in North American philosophy. Many of the problems still at the focus of discussion were given their classic formulations in this book. Long out of print,_ Experience and Prediction_ appears here in a new edition accompanied by a splendid historical introduction by the noted young philosopher and historian of the philosophy of science, Alan Richardson. A jewel of a book may once again be appreciated in its proper setting." —Don A. Howard, University of Notre Dame. (shrink)
The final work of a distinguished physicist, this remarkable volume examines the emotive significance of time, the time order of mechanics, the time direction of thermodynamics and microstatistics, the time direction of macrostatistics, and the time of quantum physics. Coherent discussions include accounts of analytic methods of scientific philosophy in the investigation of probability, quantum mechanics, the theory of relativity, and causality. "[Reichenbach’s] best by a good deal."—Physics Today. 1971 ed.
Written by an internationally renowned philosopher, this volume offers a three-part philosophical interpretation of quantum physics. The first part reviews the basics of quantum mechanics, outlining their philosophical interpretation and summarizing their results; the second outlines the mathematical methods of quantum mechanics; and the third section blends the philosophical ideas of the first part and the mathematical formulations of the second part to develop a variety of interpretations of quantum mechanics. 1944 edition.
The present state of the discussion on relativity -- The theory of motion according to Newton, Leibniz, and Huyghens -- Casualty and probability -- Aims and methods of modern philosophy of nature -- The principle of causality and the possibility of its empirical confirmation -- Rationalism and empiricism -- The freedom of the will -- On the explication of ethical utterances.
HansReichenbach has been not only one of the founding fathers of logical empiricism but also one of the most prominent figures in the philosophy of science of the past century. While some of his ideas continue to be of interest in current philosophical programs, an important part of his early work has been neglected, and some of it has been unavailable to English readers. Among Reichenbach’s overlooked (and untranslated) early works, his doctoral thesis of 1915, The (...) Concept of Probability in the Mathematical Representation of Reality, deserves special attention, both for the topics covered and for its significance for a proper understanding of his intellectual trajectory. This volume anticipates most of the fundamental themes of his later philosophy. In particular, it addresses the issue of the application of probability statements to reality, as well as the relationship between probability and causality—questions that have been at the core of his research throughout his life. (shrink)
Ever since the first meeting of the proponents of the emerging Logical Empiricism in 1923, there existed philosophical differences as well as personal rivalries between the groups in Berlin and Vienna, headed by HansReichenbach and Moritz Schlick, respectively. Early theoretical tensions between Schlick and Reichenbach were caused by Reichenbach's (neo) Kantian roots (esp. his version of the relativized a priori), who himself regarded the Vienna Circle as a sort of anti-realist "positivist school"—as he described it (...) in his Experience and Prediction (1938). One result of this divergence was Schlick's preference of Carnap over Reichenbach for a position at the University of Vienna (in 1926), and his decision not to serve as a co-editor with Reichenbach for the journal Erkenntnis that they jointly established in 1930 (which was then co-edited by Carnap and Reichenbach from 1930 to 1938). A second split rooted in different views on induction and probability, which culminated in the HansReichenbach's refusal to serve as an invited author on probability within the International Encyclopedia of Unified Science series ed. by Rudolf Carnap, Charles Morris and Otto Neurath from 1938 onwards. In this regard it is remarkable that also Richard von Mises, who was the second leading figure of Logical Empiricism in Turkish exile, criticized the theory of probability put forward by his former Berlin colleague. In this paper I analyse this controversial exchange, drawing on the relevant correspondence and asking whether these (meta) philosophical differences were a typical feature of the pluralism inherent in Logical Empiricism in general. (shrink)