Usually one reads that after the foundation of scientific journals the journal article took the place of scientific correspondence. It is shown here that periodicals did not replace the letter, but only supplemented it. Norms were developed for the journal article such that only the „context of justification”, not the „context of discovery”, could be discussed. Any scholar who wanted to participate in the „discussion out of which science arises” had to resort to the letter; the reading of journals did (...) not suffice. — This circumstance is illustrated in particular by the example of quantum theory and by Wolfgang Pauli. (shrink)
In Bertrand Russell's 1903 Principles of Mathematics, he offers an apparently devastating criticism of the neo-Kantian Hermann Cohen's Principle of the Infinitesimal Method and its History (PIM). Russell's criticism is motivated by his concern that Cohen's account of the foundations of calculus saddles mathematics with the paradoxes of the infinitesimal and continuum, and thus threatens the very idea of mathematical truth. This paper defends Cohen against that objection of Russell's, and argues that properly understood, Cohen's views of limits and (...) infinitesimals do not entail the paradoxes of the infinitesimal and continuum. Essential to that defense is an interpretation, developed in the paper, of Cohen's positions in the PIM as deeply rationalist. The interest in developing this interpretation is not just that it reveals how Cohen's views in the PIM avoid the paradoxes of the infinitesimal and continuum. It also reveals some of what is at stake, both historically and philosophically, in Russell's criticism of Cohen. (shrink)
Some commentators on Hermann Cohen have remarked on what they take to be a puzzle about the origins of his mature anti-psychologism. When Cohen was young, he studied a kind of psychology, the Völkerpsychologie of Moritz Lazarus and Heymann Steinthal, and wrote apparently psycholgistic accounts of knowledge almost up until the moment he first articulated his anti-psychologistic neo-Kantianism. To be sure, Cohen's mature anti psycholgism does constitute a rejection of certain central commitments of Völkerpsychologie. However, the relation between Völkerpsychologie (...) and Cohen's mature anti-psychologism is not one of straightforward opposition. This paper argues that Cohen had significantly less distance to travel than it appears to get from his early Völkerpsychologie to his mature anti-psychologism. In particular, this paper argues that Cohen always had an anti-psychologistic account of knowledge, even during the period when he was studying Völkerpsychologie, and further, that key features of his Völkerpsychologie partly shaped his mature account of knowledge. Finally, the paper identifies how Cohen’s views did change over the transition from his völkerpsychological period to his later anti-psychologism. It thus identifies what changes in Cohen’s views do need to be explained. (shrink)
The neo-Kantian Hermann Cohen is famously anti-empiricist in that he denies that sensations can make a definable contribution to knowledge. However, in the second edition of Kant’s Theory of Experience (1885), Cohen considers a proposition that contrasts with both his other work and that of his followers: a Kantian who studies scientific claims to truth—and the grounds on which they are made—cannot limit himself to studying mathematics and logical principles, but needs to also investigate underlying presuppositions about the empirical (...) element of science. Due to his subjectivist approach, Cohen argues, Kant not only failed to explain how scientific observation and experiments are possible, but also misconceived the role of the ideas, particularly the idea of a system of nature. (shrink)
Mit seinem Einfluß auf die Entwicklung der Physiologie, Physik und Geometrie ist Hermann von Helmholtz wie kaum ein anderer Wissenschaftler der zweiten Hälfte des 19. Jahrhunderts repräsentativ für die Naturforschung in Deutschland. Nicht weniger repräsentativ nimmt sich die Entwicklung seiner Wissenschaftsauffassung aus. Während er bis in die späten 60er Jahre einen emphatischen Wahrheitsanspruch der Wissenschaft vertrat, begann er in der nachfolgenden Zeit, die Geltungsbedingungen der wissenschaftlichen Erkenntnis einer Relativierung zu unterwerfen, die zusammenfassend als Hypothetisierung bezeichnet werden kann. Helmholtz entwickelte (...) damit schon im vergangenen Jahrhundert Ansätze einer Wissenschaftsauffassung , die in erstaunlichem Umfang in die Richtung der Moderne weisen. Wie nah er späteren Wissenschaftsauffassungen bereits gekommen ist, kann ein Vergleich mit Karl R. Poppers Forschungslogik illustrieren. In seiner Forschungslogik ist die Hypothetisierung der wissenschaftlichen Erkenntnis entschieden weiter vorangeschritten als in Heimholtz' Wissenschaftstheorie. Was sich bei Helmholtz erst vage abzuzeichnen beginnt, ist bei ihm bereits explizit formuliertes Programm geworden. Obwohl HeImholtz und Popper in keiner direkten wissenschaftstheoretischen Entwicklungslinie stehen und Popper sich in seinen Schriften auch nur sehr selten und beiläufig auf Helmholtz bezieht, finden sich dennoch überraschende und bisher nicht beachtete Berührungspunkte, die insbesondere dann hervortreten, wenn man Heimholtz' Wissenschaftsauffassung vor dem Hintergrund von Poppers Forschungslogik betrachtet. (shrink)
German supporters of the Kantian philosophy in the late 19th century took one of two forks in the road: the fork leading to Baden, and the Southwest School of neo-Kantian philosophy, and the fork leading to Marburg, and the Marburg School, founded by Hermann Cohen. Between 1876, when Cohen came to Marburg, and 1918, the year of Cohen's death, Cohen, with his Marburg School, had a profound influence on German academia.
In searching for the origins of current conceptions of science in the history of physics, one encounters a remarkable phenomenon. A typical view today is that theoretical knowledge-claims have only relativized validity. Historically, however, this thesis was supported by proponents of a conception of nature that today is far from typical, a mechanistic conception within which natural phenomena were to be explained by the action of mechanically moved matter. Two of these proponents, Hermann von Helmholtz and his pupil Heinrich (...) Hertz, contributed significantly to the modernization of the conception of science. Paradigmatic for their common contribution to this development is the way in which they employed the concept of image. By considering the origin and the different meanings of this concept we may trace a line of development which begins with Helmholtz's original claim that a universally and forever valid theory provides a unique representation of nature. It continues with the realization that the status of scientific knowledge is capable of revision; and it arrives at Hertz's admission that a variety of theories over a domain of objects is possible, at least at times. (shrink)
The Prussian Protestant Daniel Hermann is an important Neo-Latin poet. He lived from probably 1543 until 1601. Hermann studied at Königsberg, Straßburg, Basel and Wittenberg. Afterwards he served as a secretary at the Imperial Court at Vienna, later as a secretary of the city of Danzig and permanent ambassador of Danzig at the Royal Polish court during the wars against Russia. After the war he married and settled down in Riga and became the secretary of the Polish governor (...) Cardinal Radziwil and later of the general Georg Fahrensbach. Besides lots of poems on academical, political and private occasions he wrote letters in poetic form as well as theological, philosophical and political poems. This paper provides an overview over Hermann ’s life and his poetry, especially the poems written and published in Riga, and a short summary of the research on this poet. (shrink)
Nach einer kurzen Übersicht über das Leben und Werk von Helmholtz, diskutiere ich die drei Themenbereiche, die für die Beurteilung seines Verhältnisses zu Kant vornehmlich ins Gewicht fallen. Der erste Bereich bildet die Begründung des Energieerhaltungssatzes von 1847, den der späte Helmholtz selbst „durch Kant’s erkenntnistheoretische Ansichten […] beeinflusst“ gesehen hat. Während viele Interpreten diese Selbstauskunft für berechtigt halten, sehe ich in der Struktur der Begründung einen Ausdruck der gegensätzlichen Wissenschaftsauffassungen von Helmholtz und Kant. Als zweites gehe ich auf die (...) Rolle der Kausalität in der Wahrnehmungstheorie ein. In diesem Kontext bezieht sich Helmholtz erstmals und durchaus positiv explizit auf Kant. Seine Rede "Über das Sehen des Menschen" von 1855 zur Einweihung eines Kantdenkmals in Königsberg gilt als eines der Gründungsdokumente des Neukantianismus und spiegelt doch zugleich die tiefgreifenden Differenzen zwischen empiristischer und idealistischer Wissenschaftsphilosophie wider. Zeitlich wiederum nachfolgend steht die Begründung der nichteuklidischen Geometrien als dritter Bereich für die deutlichste Kritik an Kants transzendentaler Begründung der Wissenschaft. Sie ist zugleich wohl auch Helmholtz’ bekanntester Beitrag zur Hypothetisierung der Wissenschaftssauffassung. der Gründungsdokumente des Neukantianismus und spiegelt doch zugleich die tiefgreifenden Differenzen zwischen empiristischer und idealistischer Wissenschaftsphilosophie wider. Zeitlich wiederum nachfolgend steht die Begründung der nichteuklidischen Geometrien als dritter Bereich für die deutlichste Kritik an Kants transzendentaler Begründung der Wissenschaft. Sie ist zugleich wohl auch Helmholtz’ bekanntester Beitrag zur Hypothetisierung der Wissenschaftssauffassung.Dem Werk von Hermann von Helmholtz wird gemeinhin ein maßgeblicher Stellenwert bei der Begründung der neukantianischen Bewegung im 19. Jahrhundert beigemessen. Wo diese Zuordnung Helmholtz’ positive Bezüge auf Immanuel Kant ohne hinreichende Kontextualisierung hervorhebt, läuft sie Gefahr, die Distanz zu übersehen, die zwischen den wissenschaftsphilosophischen Positionen von Helmholtz und Kant bestand. In meinem Beitrag gewinnt das Verhältnis von Helmholtz zu Kant erst seine Bedeutung vor dem Hintergrund ihrer konträren ontologischen und erkenntnistheoretischen Grundannahmen. Helmholtz betrachte ich als repräsentativen Vertreter einer szientistischen Wissenschaftsauffassung in der Naturforschung des 19. Jahrhunderts. Demgegenüber bietet Kant ein paradigmatisches Beispiel einer metaphysischen Wissenschaftsbegründung. Im Gegensatz zu Kant beschränkt Helmholtz seinen Ausgangspunkt nicht auf erfahrungsfreie Prinzipien, sondern entwickelt und stützt seine Begründung des Geltungsanspruches der wissenschaftlichen Erkenntnis auf forschungsbewährte Theorien und Experimente. Eine Differenz zwischen den beiden Positionen findet sich ebenfalls in den Strukturen der jeweils vertretenen Naturkonzeptionen. Führt Kants dynamischer Mechanismus alle Eigenschaften der Materie auf Kräfte zurück, so geht Helmholtz von einer Dualität von Kraft und Materie aus. (shrink)
With his influence on the development of physiology, physics and geometry, Hermann von Helmholtz – like few scientists of the second half of the 19th century – is representative of the research in natural science in Germany. The development of his understanding of science is not less representative. Until the late sixties, he emphatically claimed the truth of science; later on, he began to see the conditions for the validity of scientific knowledge in relative terms, and this can, in (...) summary, be referred to as hypothesizing. Already in the past century, HeImholtz made first approaches to an understanding of science, which were incompatible with his own former position and which pointed to the modern age to an astonishingly large extent. A comparison with Karl R. Popper's logic of research will illustrate how closely he nevertheless approached modern understanding of science. In Popper's logic of research, hypothesizing of scientific knowledge is definitely much more advanced than in Helmholtz's theory of science. What begins vaguely to emerge with Helmholtz has already become an explicitly formulated programme with Popper. Although HeImholtz and Popper are not on a direct line of epistemological development and Popper refers to HeImholtz only rarely and casually, there are in fact surprising points of contact which have not been taken notice of so far and which appear above all if one looks at Helmholtz's understanding of science against the background of Popper's logic of research. (shrink)
This paper examines Hermann Cohen's idiosyncratic construction of a medieval Jewish philosophical tradition, focusing primarily, though not exclusively, on his Charakteristik der Ethik Maimunis . This construction, not unlike modern accounts, is filtered through the central place of Maimonides. For Cohen, however, Maimonides' centrality is defined not by his systematization of Aristotelianism, but by his elevation of ethics over metaphysics. The ethical and pantheistic concerns of Maimonides' precursors, according to this reading, anticipate his uniqueness. Whereas Shlomo ibn Gabirol's pantheistic (...) doctrine of emanation, for example, assigned little weight to ethics, Abraham ibn Daud rebelled against such a doctrine. Ibn Daud—much like Bahya ibn Paquda and Abraham ibn Ezra—becomes part of a Jewish philosophical tradition that culminates in Maimonides' rejection of Aristotelian metaphysics. In particular, this paper examines the way in which Cohen envisaged the pre-Maimonidean philosophical tradition, putting his highly critical reading of Shlomo ibn Gabirol and his pantheistic obsession with prime matter in counterpoint with his more favorable readings of Abraham ibn Daud and Bahya ibn Paquda. (shrink)
Two seemingly contradictory tendencies have accompanied the development of the natural sciences in the past 150 years. On the one hand, the natural sciences have been instrumental in effecting a thoroughgoing transformation of social structures and have made a permanent impact on the conceptual world of human beings. This historical period has, on the other hand, also brought to light the merely hypothetical validity of scientific knowledge. As late as the middle of the 19th century the truth-pathos in the natural (...) sciences was still unbroken. Yet in the succeeding years these claims to certain knowledge underwent a fundamental crisis. For scientists today, of course, the fact that their knowledge can possess only relative validity is a matter of self-evidence. The present analysis investigates the early phase of this fundamental change in the concept of science through an examination of Hermann von Helmholtz's conception of science and his mechanistic interpretation of nature. Helmholtz (1821-1894) was one of the most important natural scientists in Germany. The development of this thoughts offers an impressive but, until now, relatively little considered report from the field of the experimental sciences chronicling the erosion of certainty. (shrink)
This paper considers Hermann Hesse’s novel, The Glass Bead Game, in the light of Paulo Freire’s educational philosophy. The Glass Bead Game is set in Castalia, a “pedagogical province” of the 23rd century. It is argued that the central character in the book, Joseph Knecht, undergoes a complex process of conscientisation. Knecht develops an increasingly critical understanding of Castalian society, questioning some of its most cherished assumptions while nonetheless deepening his appreciation of the beauty of the Glass Bead Game. (...) He becomes less certain of his certainties as he grows older, and eventually decides to give away his prestigious post as Magister Ludi to pursue a quiet life as a tutor. Dialogue plays a key role in the development of Knecht’s critical consciousness. Freirean theory is seen to provide a robust framework for the analysis of key themes in Hesse’s text. At the same time, The Glass Bead Game is helpful in demonstrating the meaning and significance of conscientisation and dialogue for educational lives. (shrink)
The article includes a short biography of Hermann of Dalmatia and gives an account of his translations and philosophical and scientific work. In order to have a better understanding of Hermann’s philosophy, a reminder of Greek and Arabic philosophy of nature, on which he relies in his interpretation of the world picture, needs to be presented. Cosmological models by Plato, Aristotle, Eudoxus, Heraclides of Pont, Apollonius of Perga, Hipparchus, Ptolemy, and the Arab scientist Abu Ma’shar, are presented. The (...) main focus of interest is on Hermann’s translations. The immense importance of his translations from Greek and Arabic into Latin is due to the fact that some of the seminal Greek and Arabic works became known in Western Europe in the middle of the twelfth century. Hermann is also important as the author of the original work De essentiis, which presented a blend of Platonian and Aristotelian as well as Western European and Arab traditions. (shrink)
The difference between Hermann Cohen’s systematic philosophy and his philosophy of religion can be determined via the logical “Judgment of Contradiction,” viewed as an “Authority of Annihilation.” In Cohen’s Logic of Pure Knowledge the “Judgment of Contradiction” acts as a “means of protection” against “falsifications” that may have arisen on the pathway through the previous judgments of “origin” and “identity.” Cohen thematizes these operations in his Religion of Reason Out of the Sources of Judaism, too. However, there they do (...) not form the grounding for natural science but rather for the knowledge of nature as creation in a strict correlation to God’s uniqueness. Any admixture between God and nature is the falseness that must be excluded via the “Authority of Annihilation.” The Being of God places the world over against the possibility of its own radical Non-Being. Yet at the same time, a second mode of Negation, a relative Nothing providing continuity for the world’s being-there, grounded in the “Logic of Origin,” retains its validity. In Cohen’s view a Creation “in the beginning” stands side by side with a continuous “renewal of the world”. (shrink)
Hermann Schmitz has developed a “New Phenomenology.” It emphasizes fundamental conceptions that undercut traditional subject-object distinctions. In the Chinese classic The Zhuangzi we find stories that describe involvements and dialogue that can be seen as doing something similar. I will bring out some of these parallels. In particular I will focus on freedom and mutual understanding.
_ Source: _Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 236 - 255 In this article I compare some elements of Eric Gans’s thought with a few aspects of the philosophy of Hermann Cohen—first and foremost, Gans’s concept of the origin and Cohen’s concept of Ursprung—while revealing the deep affinity between these two lines of thinking.
This paper describes a “double move“ made by Maimonides, Kant, and Hermann Cohen when they simultaneously dismiss and resolve the cosmological problem of the origin of the universe in time in order to represent creation as a moral issue. Maimonides claims to lack a compelling metaphysical argument regarding creation. However, a reading of Maimonides inspired by the views of Hermann Cohen finds him to be a Platonist who accepts creation from absolute privation so as to establish a moral (...) world in which revelation establishes a correlation between humans and God. For Kant, metaphysics also cannot address the origin of the universe, but he positively describes the regress towards the origin as indeterminately large to derive the unconditioned ideal of reason that supports the regulative use of reason. Cohen, therefore, follows the precedents set by Maimonides and Kant when he claims that the Jewish concept of creation is an ethical and logical problem rather than a cosmological one, even though his account of creation presupposes his era's dominant scientific model of the eternity of the universe. (shrink)
The most important Jewish source for Hermann Cohen's rational theology of Judaism is Maimonides' Guide of the Perplexed . Indeed, the Guide is of such importance that Cohen bases his entire idealistic interpretation of the Jewish religion on it. In particular, Cohen derives his discussion of the continued authority of Mosaic law from the Guide . What follows focuses on Cohen's discussion of the “Law” in his Religion of Reason out of the Sources of Judaism , and attempts to (...) fill a gap in recent Cohen research by dealing with questions of halakhah and the interpretation of rabbinical sources. Cohen's original reading of, inter alia, Guide III.31-32 led him to formulate a theory wherein Mosaic law—and by extension Judaism—guarantees the highest end of human morality. In identifying God with this end, Cohen eventually finds the ultimate criterion for the decision of how much of traditional Jewish law must still be observed in the need for the preservation of the purest monotheism—another central point in Maimonides' philosophy. (shrink)
Abstract At the beginning of his best seller Meaning in History , Karl Löwith launches a violent attack against Jewish prophetism, using the philosophy of history of Hermann Cohen as his first and foremost example. This article purports to show that Löwith misinterpreted the thought of Hermann Cohen. It also reclaims Cohen's own position on history and on the philosophy of history by identifying the questions Cohen himself had asked in his time. At the end of the article, (...) some paths of research are indicated that might prove themselves fruitful today, in a further study of Cohen's thought. (shrink)
While Maimonides reread his sources to reconcile biblical and rabbinic texts with the demands of reason, Hermann Cohen, in his construction of a “religion of reason,” rereads Maimonides' rereadings of those very same texts. Maimonides' Judaism often bridges the sources toward Cohen's religion of reason by providing a philological anchor that nudges a term or verse now viewed through a more modern historical and evolutionary lens toward its ultimate reason-infused meaning. This paper will explore a hitherto neglected feature of (...) their oeuvres that unites Maimonides and Cohen as much as it distinguishes them: the “Jewishness” shared by both, as evident in the most Jewish of all exercises that suffuses both their works, biblical and midrashic exegesis. Their exegetical nets are systematically cast widely throughout the breadth of the Hebrew Bible, but more often than not they offer highly discrepant readings of the same passage or prooftext. Cohen's referencing of many of the same sources appeals to their Maimonidean rationalist refurbishment, but at the same time often places them in combative discourse in order to subvert and reorient Maimonides' exegesis. The notions of divine names, the “image” ( tselem ) of God, “nearness” to God, and divine “glory” ( kavod ) are closely examined to demonstrate this intertextual relationship between these two seminal Jewish thinkers. While Cohen may be misreading Maimonides' rereading of scripture, he remains a true hermeneutical disciple in his exegetical restructuring and realignment of scripture. Cohen's programmatic exegetical idealization of Maimonidean prooftexts to reconstruct a new Kantianized God forms a common ground of discourse with Maimonides that traverses seven centuries of a quintessential Jewish enterprise. (shrink)
Aus dem vielfältigen Werk von Hermann von Helmholtz versammelt diese Ausgabe die im engeren Sinne philosophischen Abhandlungen, vor allem zur Wissenschaftsphilosophie und Erkenntnistheorie, sowie Vorträge und Reden, bei denen der Autor seine Ausnahmestellung im Wissenschaftsbetrieb nutzte, um die Wissenschaften und ihre Institutionen in der bestehenden Form zu repräsentieren und zu begründen. -/- Ein Philosoph wollte Helmholtz nicht sein, aber er legte der philosophischen Reflexion wissenschaftlicher Erkenntnis und wissenschaftlichen Handelns große Bedeutung bei. Vor allem bezog er, in der Regel ausgehend (...) von seinen fachwissenschaftlichen Forschungen, in den verschiedensten Kontexten zu erkenntnistheoretischen und methodologischen Problemen der Wissenschaften Stellung. Bereits »Ueber die Erhaltung der Kraft« (1847) lässt erkennen, wie verwoben naturwissenschaftliche Grundlagenforschung und philosophische Grundlagenreflexion in seinem Werk sind. Die aus den frühen sinnesphysiologischen Forschungen hervorgegangene empiristische Wahrnehmungslehre trug ihm den Ruf ein, ein maßgeblicher Vertreter des Neukantianismus zu sein. Spätere Arbeiten v.a. zur Geometrie und Arithmetik – das zeigt die vorliegende Ausgabe – stellen jedoch eine radikale Absage an den konstitutiven Kern des Kantianismus (nämlich die Existenz synthetischer Urteile a priori) dar. -/- Helmholtz’ philosophische Beiträge sind bisher in ihrer Vollständigkeit nicht annähernd so gut zugänglich wie sein naturwissenschaftliches Werk. Die Ausgabe enthält außerdem bibliographische Vorberichte zur Einordnung, detaillierte Namens- und Sachregister sowie mit 575 Einträgen für den Zeitraum zwischen 1842 und 2012 die erste umfassende Bibliographie von Helmholtz verfasster Werke überhaupt. -/- »Ich glaube, dass der Philosophie nur wieder aufzuhelfen ist, wenn sie sich mit Ernst und Eifer der Untersuchung der Erkenntnissprocesse und der wissenschaftlichen Methode zuwendet. Da hat sie eine wirkliche und berechtigte Aufgabe.« Helmholtz in einem Brief um 1875. (shrink)
Lotze’s "Microcosm" was published in three volumes, in 1856, 1858 and 1864, respectively. It was soon one of the most widely read philosophy books of the time. It was translated into French and Russian immediately, into English in 1885/87, and into Italian in 1911/16. The book saw six editions in Germany alone by 1923.