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Einstein's philosophy of science

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2008)

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  1. Philosophy of Computer Science.William J. Rapaport - 2005 - Teaching Philosophy 28 (4):319-341.
    There are many branches of philosophy called “the philosophy of X,” where X = disciplines ranging from history to physics. The philosophy of artificial intelligence has a long history, and there are many courses and texts with that title. Surprisingly, the philosophy of computer science is not nearly as well-developed. This article proposes topics that might constitute the philosophy of computer science and describes a course covering those topics, along with suggested readings and assignments.
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  • Length Matters: The Einstein–Swann Correspondence and the Constructive Approach to the Special Theory of Relativity.Amit Hagar - 2007 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 39 (3):532-556.
    I discuss a rarely mentioned correspondence between Einstein and Swann on the constructive approach to the special theory of relativity, in which Einstein points out that the attempts to construct a dynamical explanation of relativistic kinematical effects require postulating a fundamental length scale in the level of the dynamics. I use this correspondence to shed light on several issues under dispute in current philosophy of spacetime that were highlighted recently in Harvey Brown’s monograph Physical Relativity, namely, Einstein’s view on the (...)
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  • ‘But One Must Not Legalize the Mentioned Sin’: Phenomenological Vs. Dynamical Treatments of Rods and Clocks in Einstein׳s Thought.Marco Giovanelli - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 48 (1):20-44.
    The paper offers a historical overview of Einstein's oscillating attitude towards a "phenomenological" and "dynamical" treatment of rods and clocks in relativity theory. Contrary to what it has been usually claimed in recent literature, it is argued that this distinction should not be understood in the framework of opposition between principle and constructive theories. In particular Einstein does not seem to have plead for a "dynamical" explanation for the phenomenon rods contraction and clock dilation which was initially described only "kinematically". (...)
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  • Duhem: Images of Science, Historical Continuity, and the First Crisis in Physics.Liston Michael - 2017 - Transversal: International Journal for the Historiography of Science 2:73.
    Duhem used historical arguments to draw philosophical conclusions about the aim and structure of physical theory. He argued against explanatory theories and in favor of theories that provide natural classifications of the phenomena. This paper presents those arguments and, with the benefit of hindsight, uses them as a test case for the prevalent contemporary use of historical arguments to draw philosophical conclusion about science. It argues that Duhem provides us with an illuminating example of philosophy of science developing as a (...)
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  • Philosophy in Einstein's Science.John D. Norton - unknown
    Albert Einstein read philosophy. It was not an affectation of a celebrity-physicist trying to show his adoring public that he was no mere technician, but a cultured thinker. It was an interest in evidence from the start. In 1902, Einstein was a poorly paid patent examiner in Bern seeking to make a few extra Francs by offering tutorials in physics. Maurice Solovine answered the advertisement. The tutorials quickly vanished when they discovered their common fascinations in reading and talking. They were (...)
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  • Talking at Cross-Purposes. How Einstein and Logical Empiricists Never Agreed on What They Were Discussing About.Marco Giovanelli - unknown
    By inserting the dialogue between Einstein, Schlick and Reichenbach in a wider network of debates about the epistemology of geometry, the paper shows, that not only Einstein and Logical Empiricists came to disagree about the role, principled or provisional, played by rods and clocks in General Relativity, but they actually, in their life-long interchange, never clearly identified the problem they were discussing. Einstein’s reflections on geometry can be understood only in the context of his “measuring rod objection” against Weyl. Logical (...)
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  • Talking at Cross-Purposes: How Einstein and the Logical Empiricists Never Agreed on What They Were Disagreeing About.Marco Giovanelli - 2013 - Synthese 190 (17):3819-3863.
    By inserting the dialogue between Einstein, Schlick and Reichenbach into a wider network of debates about the epistemology of geometry, this paper shows that not only did Einstein and Logical Empiricists come to disagree about the role, principled or provisional, played by rods and clocks in General Relativity, but also that in their lifelong interchange, they never clearly identified the problem they were discussing. Einstein’s reflections on geometry can be understood only in the context of his ”measuring rod objection” against (...)
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  • Bohr’s Relational Holism and the Classical-Quantum Interaction.Mauro Dorato - manuscript
    In this paper I present and critically discuss the main strategies that Bohr used and could have used to fend off the charge that his interpretation does not provide a clear-cut distinction between the classical and the quantum domain. In particular, in the first part of the paper I reassess the main arguments used by Bohr to advocate the indispensability of a classical framework to refer to quantum phenomena. In this respect, by using a distinction coming from an apparently unrelated (...)
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  • When Champions Meet: Rethinking the Bohr–Einstein Debate.Nicolaas P. Landsman - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 37 (1):212-242.
    Einstein's philosophy of physics (as clarified by Fine, Howard, and Held) was predicated on his Trennungsprinzip, a combination of separability and locality, without which he believed objectification, and thereby "physical thought" and "physical laws", to be impossible. Bohr's philosophy (as elucidated by Hooker, Scheibe, Folse, Howard, Held, and others), on the other hand, was grounded in a seemingly different doctrine about the possibility of objective knowledge, namely the necessity of classical concepts. In fact, it follows from Raggio's Theorem in algebraic (...)
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  • How Hume and Mach Helped Einstein Find Special Relativity.John D. Norton - 2004 - In Michael Friedman, Mary Domski & Michael Dickson (eds.), Discourse on a New Method: Reinvigorating the Marriage of History and Philosophy of Science. Open Court. pp. 359--86.
    In recounting his discovery of special relativity, Einstein recalled a debt to the philosophical writings of Hume and Mach. I review the path Einstein took to special relativity and urge that, at a critical juncture, he was aided decisively not by any specific doctrine of space and time, but by a general account of concepts that Einstein found in Hume and Mach’s writings. That account required that concepts, used to represent the physical, must be properly grounded in experience. In so (...)
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  • Einstein's Epistemology and the Search for a Unified Theory.Emanuele Rossanese - 2012 - Metascience 21 (3):613-616.
  • The Forgotten Tradition: How the Logical Empiricists Missed the Philosophical Significance of the Work of Riemann, Christoffel and Ricci.Marco Giovanelli - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (6):1219-1257.
    This paper attempts to show how the logical empiricists’ interpretation of the relation between geometry and reality emerges from a “collision” of mathematical traditions. Considering Riemann’s work as the initiator of a 19th century geometrical tradition, whose main protagonists were Helmholtz and Poincaré, the logical empiricists neglected the fact that Riemann’s revolutionary insight flourished instead in a non-geometrical tradition dominated by the works of Christoffel and Ricci-Curbastro roughly in the same years. I will argue that, in the attempt to interpret (...)
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  • Rediscovering Einstein's Legacy: How Einstein Anticipates Kuhn and Feyerabend on the Nature of Science.Eric Oberheim - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 57:17-26.
  • When Champions Meet: Rethinking the Bohr–Einstein Debate.Nicolaas P. Landsman - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 37 (1):212-242.
    Einstein's philosophy of physics was predicated on his Trennungsprinzip, a combination of separability and locality, without which he believed objectification, and thereby "physical thought" and "physical laws", to be impossible. Bohr's philosophy, on the other hand, was grounded in a seemingly different doctrine about the possibility of objective knowledge, namely the necessity of classical concepts. In fact, it follows from Raggio's Theorem in algebraic quantum theory that - within an appropriate class of physical theories - suitable mathematical translations of the (...)
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