1st Edition

Logical Empiricism and the Physical Sciences
From Philosophy of Nature to Philosophy of Physics

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after April 27, 2021
ISBN 9781138367357
April 27, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
400 Pages

USD $160.00

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Book Description

This volume has two primary aims: to trace the traditions and changes in methods, concepts, and ideas that brought forth the logical empiricists’ philosophy of physics, and to present and analyze the logical empiricists’ various and occasionally contrary ideas about the physical sciences and their philosophical relevance. These original essays discuss these developments in their original contexts and social and institutional environments, thus showing the various fruitful conceptions and philosophies behind the history of twentieth-century philosophy of science.

Logical Empiricism and the Natural Sciences is divided into three thematic sections. Part I surveys the influences on logical empiricism’s philosophy of science and physics. It features essays on Reichenbach's account of objectivity, and the impact Poincaré on Neurath’s early views on scientific method, Frank’s exchanges with Einstein about philosophy of physics, and the forgotten role of Kurt Grelling. Part II focuses on specific physical theories, including Carnap’s and Reichenbach’s positions on Einstein’s theory of general relativity, Reichenbach’s critique of unified field theory,and the logical empiricists’ reactions to quantum mechanics. The third and final group of essays widens the scope to philosophy of science and physics in general. It includes contributions, among others, on von Mises’ frequentism, Frank’s account of concept formation and confirmation, and the interrelations between Nagel’s Feigl’s, and Hempel’s versions of logical empiricism.

This book offers a comprehensive account of the logical empiricists’ philosophy of physics. It is a valuable resource for researchers interested in the history and philosophy of science, philosophy of physics, and the history of analytic philosophy.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction—From Philosophy of Nature to Philosophy of Physics

Sebastian Lutz and Adam Tamas Tuboly

Part I: The Rise of Philosophy of Physics

2. The Electromagnetic Way to the Scientific World-conception: Maxwell’s Equations at the Service of Logical Empiricism

Jordi Cat

3. Kurt Grelling and the Idiosyncrasy of the Berlin Logical Empiricism

Nikolay Milkov

4. The Selection of Facts in Poincaré and Neurath

Katherine Dunlop

5. The Philosopher Physicists: Albert Einstein and Philipp Frank 

Don Howard

6. On the Empirical Refutation of Epistemological Doctrine in Hans Reichenbach’s Early Philosophy

Alan Richardson

Part II: The Philosophy of Physical Theories

7. Carnap, Einstein, and the Empirical Foundations of Space-time Geometry

Robert DiSalle

8. Einstein, General Relativity, and Logical Empiricism 

Thomas Ryckman

9. ‘Geometrization of Physics’ vs. ‘Physicalization of Geometry.’ The Unranslated Appendix to Reichenbach’s Philosophie der Raum-Zeit-Lehre

Marco Giovanelli

10. Did Logical Positivism Influence the Early Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics?

Jan Faye and Rasmus Jaksland

11. Why Moritz Schlick’s View on Causality is Rooted in a Specific Understanding of Quantum Mechanics

Richard Dawid

12. The Legacy of Logical Empiricism

Clark Glymour

Part III: General Philosophy of Physics

13. Probability in Physics: Richard von Mises’ Frequentism 

Maria Carla Galavotti

14. Co-ordination, Reichenbach, and the Berlin Group 

Flavia Padovani

15. Two Constants in Carnap’s View on Scientific Theories

Sebastian Lutz

16. From Periphery to the Center: Nagel, Feigl, and Hempel 

Matthias Neuber

17. Understanding Metaphysics and Understanding Through Metaphysics: Philipp Frank on Scientific Theories and Their Domestication

Adam Tamas Tuboly

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Sebastian Lutz is senior lecturer of theoretical philosophy at Uppsala University. He works on philosophy of science, philosophical methodology, and the history of logical empiricism.

Adam Tamas Tuboly is postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Philosophy, Research Centre for the Humanities, Budapest, MTA BTK Lendület Morals and Science Research Group, and a research fellow at the Institute of Transdisciplinary Discoveries, University of Pécs. He works on the history of logical empiricism and philosophy of science.