Leo Corry. David Hilbert and the axiomatization of physics (1898–1918)

Philosophia Mathematica 16 (1):113-129 (2007)
Abstract
This book is a wonderful resource for historians and philosophers of mathematics and physics alike, not just for Hilbert's own work in physics, but also because Corry sets Hilbert in context, bringing out the people with whom Hilbert had contact, describing their work and possible links with Hilbert's work, and describing the activities going on around Hilbert. The historical thesis of this book is that Hilbert worked on a wide range of issues in physics for a period lasting more than two decades, employing and developing his axiomatic approach throughout. One conclusion that follows from this is that Hilbert's 1915–1917 work relating to Einstein's General Theory of Relativity was a natural continuation of Hilbert's pre-existing interests and activities, and not a one-off foray into foreign territory. 1Of especial interest to philosophers of mathematics are two further theses. Corry stresses that for Hilbert geometry is an empirical science, and related to this argues first, that Hilbert intends the axiomatic method to be used in enhancing our understanding of the content of a given theory via relating the results of the axiomatic investigation back to the intuitive content of the axioms; and, second, that to understand Hilbert's axiomatic approach in mathematics we must pay serious attention to his work in physics.Corry also hopes to show ‘the significant and unique contribution of Hilbert to certain important developments in twentieth-century physics’ . 2 In the end, this assessment of Hilbert's contribution to physics is far from clear cut: the two cases where Hilbert goes into the details of a physical theory show him lacking feel for what is important physically with respect to that theory. Nevertheless, philosophers and historians of physics will find a great deal to interest them in the story of Hilbert's involvement in physics, and in the details …
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2008
DOI 10.1093/philmat/nkm044
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
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 28,165
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Hilbert's 'Foundations of Physics': Gravitation and Electromagnetism Within the Axiomatic Method.K. A. Brading & T. A. Ryckman - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 39 (1):102-153.
Kuhnian Issues, Scientific Revolutions and the History of Mathematics.Leo Corry - 1993 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 24 (1):95-117.
The Development of the Idea of Proof.Leo Corry - 2008 - In T. Gowers (ed.), ¸ Itegowers:Pcm. Princeton University Press. pp. 129--42.
Leo Corry, David Hilbert and the Axiomatization of Physics (1998–1918), Springer, Netherlands (2004) ISBN 1-4020-2777-X (513 Pp., Euro 160, US$ 179, £111, Hardcover). [REVIEW]L. BekLemishev - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 37 (2):388-390.

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

66 ( #79,934 of 2,171,976 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #326,556 of 2,171,976 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums