The Historiography of Special Relativity: Comments on the Papers by John Earman, Clark Glymour, and Robert Rynasiewicz and by Arthur Miller

PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1982:417 - 428 (1982)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Two problems in the paper by EGR are considered. One is the lack of any direct confirmatory evidence for the elegant rational reconstruction. The second is a significant gap in the historical account, just at the critical point in Einstein's discovery process -- namely, the reanalysis of simultaneity. In addition, the EGR account appears in danger of being overly focused on the electrodynamical aspect of special relativity to the exclusion of optical null experiments, and in particular to the exclusion of the role of the 1887 Michelson-Morely interferometer experiment. The author disagrees with Miller on the Kantian aspects of Poincare, and on the role of Anschauungen, preferring to sketch instead a more important role for a Mach-like analysis of fundamental scientific concepts. It is argued that Miller has misconstrued the difference between an axiomatic theory and a "theory of principle" in Einstein's approach. Finally, some suggestions are made as to how the gap in our analysis of Einstein's revolution in simultaneity might be reexamined.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,202

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

On Writing the History of Special Relativity.John Earman, Clark Glymour & Robert Rynasiewicz - 1982 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1982:403 - 416.
On Einstein's Invention of Special Relativity.Arthur I. Miller - 1982 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1982:377 - 402.
Concepts of simultaneity: from antiquity to Einstein and beyond.Max Jammer - 2006 - Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Poincare's contributions to relativistic dynamics.Galina Granek - 2000 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 31 (1):15-48.
Einstein's theory of relativity.Max Born - 1924 - New York,: Dover Publications. Edited by Henry Herman Leopold Adolf Brose.
Einstein and Kant.Friedel Weinert - 2005 - Philosophy 80 (4):585-593.

Analytics

Added to PP
2011-05-29

Downloads
14 (#930,021)

6 months
2 (#1,136,865)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Kenneth Schaffner
University of Pittsburgh

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references