Number and measure: Hermann Von helmholtz at the crossroads of mathematics, physics, and psychology

In 1887 Helmholtz discussed the foundations of measurement in science as a last contribution to his philosophy of knowledge. This essay borrowed from earlier debates on the foundations of mathematics (Grassmann / Du Bois), on the possibility of quantitative psychology (Fechner / Kries, Wundt / Zeller), and on the meaning of temperature measurement (Maxwell, Mach). Late nineteenth-century scrutinisers of the foundations of mathematics (Dedekind, Cantor, Frege, Russell) made little of Helmholtz's essay. Yet it inspired two mathematicians with an eye on physics (Poincare and Holder), and a few philosopher-physicists (Mach, Duhem, Campbell). The aim of the present paper is to situate Helmholtz's contribution in this complex array of nineteenth-century philosophies of number, quantity, and measurement.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1016/S0039-3681(03)00043-8
 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: 28,182
External links

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
Circularity and Reliability in Measurement.Hasok Chang - 1995 - Perspectives on Science 3:153-172.
A Set of Independent Axioms for Extensive Quantities.Patrick Suppes - 1951 - Portugaliae Mathematica 10 (4):163-172.
Henri Poincare's Criticism of Fin de Siecle Electrodynamics.O. Darrigol - 1995 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 26 (1):1-44.
The Origins of the Representational Theory of Measurement: Helmholtz, Hölder, and Russell.Joel Michell - 1993 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 24 (2):185-206.
Funktion Und Begriff.Gottlob Frege - 1891 - Hermann Pohle.

View all 17 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Psychophysics, Intensive Magnitudes, and the Psychometricians' Fallacy.Joel Michell - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 37 (3):414-432.
A Helmholtzian Approach to Space and Time.Olivier Darrigol - 2007 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 38 (3):528-542.
What Does It Mean That “Space Can Be Transcendental Without the Axioms Being So”?Francesca Biagioli - 2014 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 45 (1):1-21.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Zwischen Wärmestoff und kinetischer Gastheorie—Die Behandlung der Physik der Wärme durch Hermann Helmholtz.Stefan L. Wolff - 1997 - NTM International Journal of History and Ethics of Natural Sciences, Technology and Medicine 5 (1):90-103.
Counting and Measuring.Hermann von Helmholtz - 1930 - New York: D. Van Nostrand Co.
The Facts in Perception.Hermann von Helmholtz - 1977 - In Robert Cohen & Elkana Yehuda (eds.), Hermann Von Helmholtz: Epistemological Writings. Reidel. pp. 115-185.
On the Facts Underlying Geometry.Hermann von Helmholtz - 1977 - In Robert S. Cohen & Yehuda Elkana (eds.), Hermann Von Helmholtz: Epistemological Writings. Reidel. pp. 39-58.
Hermann Von Helmholtz.Lydia Patton - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

68 ( #77,579 of 2,172,024 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

6 ( #46,502 of 2,172,024 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums