Synthese 83 (3):363-384 (1990)

Authors
Don Howard
University of Notre Dame
Abstract
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
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DOI 10.1007/BF00413422
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References found in this work BETA

Two Dogmas of Empiricism.Willard V. O. Quine - 1951 - Philosophical Review 60 (1):20–43.
Albert Einstein: Philosopher-Scientist.Stephen Toulmin - 1950 - Science and Society 14 (4):353-360.
Protokollsätze.Otto Neurath - 1932 - Erkenntnis 3 (1):204-214.

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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.
The Influence of Einstein on Wittgenstein's Philosophy.Carlo Penco - 2010 - Philosophical Investigations 33 (4):360-379.
Einstein's Attitude Towards Experiments: Testing Relativity Theory 1907–1927.Klaus Hentschel - 1991 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 23 (4):593-624.

View all 20 citations / Add more citations

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