Einstein and Duhem

Synthese 83 (3):363-384 (1990)
Pierre Duhem's often unrecognized influence on twentieth-century philosophy of science is illustrated by an analysis of his significant if also largely unrecognized influence on Albert Einstein. Einstein's first acquaintance with Duhem's La Théorie physique, son objet et sa structure around 1909 is strongly suggested by his close personal and professional relationship with Duhem's German translator, Friedrich Adler. The central role of a Duhemian holistic, underdeterminationist variety of conventionalism in Einstein's thought is examined at length, with special emphasis on Einstein's deployment of Duhemian arguments in his debates with neo-Kantian interpreters of relativity and in his critique of the empiricist doctrines of theory testing advanced by Schlick, Reichenbach, and Carnap. Most striking is Einstein's 1949 criticism of the verificationist conception of meaning from a holistic point of view, anticipating by two years the rather similar, but more famous criticism advanced independently by Quine in Two Dogmas of Empiricism
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/BF00413422
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 31,396
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Two Dogmas of Empiricism.Willard V. O. Quine - 1951 - Philosophical Review 60 (1):20–43.
Allgemeine Erkenntnislehre.Moritz Schlick (ed.) - 1918 - J. Springer.

View all 29 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
The Influence of Einstein on Wittgenstein's Philosophy.Carlo Penco - 2010 - Philosophical Investigations 33 (4):360-379.
‘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.
Einstein's Attitude Towards Experiments: Testing Relativity Theory 1907–1927.Klaus Hentschel - 1992 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 23 (4):593-624.

View all 8 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Added to PP index

Total downloads
77 ( #76,236 of 2,225,985 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #251,215 of 2,225,985 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature