Authors
Marco Giovanelli
Università di Torino
Abstract
The present paper attempts to show that a 1915 article by Erich Kretschmann must be credited not only for being the source of Einstein’s point-coincidence remark, but also for having anticipated the main lines of the logical-empiricist interpretation of general relativity. Whereas Kretschmann was inspired by the work of Mach and Poincaré, Einstein inserted Kretschmann’s point-coincidence parlance into the context of Ricci and Levi-Civita’s absolute differential calculus. Kretschmann himself realized this and turned the point-coincidence argument against Einstein in his second and more famous 1918 paper. While Einstein had taken nothing from Kretschmann but the expression “point-coincidences”, the logical empiricists, however, instinctively dragged along with it the entire apparatus of Kretschmann’s conventionalism. Disappointingly, in their interpretation of general relativity, the logical empiricists unwittingly replicated some epistemological remarks Kretschmann had written before General Relativity even existed.
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Reprint years 2012, 2013
DOI 10.1016/j.shpsb.2012.11.004
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References found in this work BETA

What Price Spacetime Substantivalism? The Hole Story.John Earman & John Norton - 1987 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 38 (4):515-525.
Albert Einstein: Philosopher-Scientist.Stephen Toulmin - 1950 - Science and Society 14 (4):353-360.
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Citations of this work BETA

‘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.
Some Philosophical Prehistory of the (Earman-Norton) Hole Argument.James Owen Weatherall - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 70:79-87.
‘…But I Still Can׳T Get Rid of a Sense of Artificiality’: The Reichenbach–Einstein Debate on the Geometrization of the Electromagnetic Field.Marco Giovanelli - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 54:35-51.
Interpreting Heisenberg Interpreting Quantum States.Simon Friederich - 2012 - Philosophia Naturalis 50 (1):85-114.

View all 8 citations / Add more citations

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