© 1985

The Relativistic Deduction

Epistemological Implications of the Theory of Relativity

  • Authors

Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 83)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-liii
  2. The Relativistic Deduction

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Emile Meyerson
      Pages 3-7
    3. Émile Meyerson
      Pages 8-17
    4. Émile Meyerson
      Pages 18-26
    5. Émile Meyerson
      Pages 27-33
    6. Émile Meyerson
      Pages 34-44
    7. Émile Meyerson
      Pages 45-63
    8. Émile Meyerson
      Pages 64-69
    9. Émile Meyerson
      Pages 70-79
    10. Émile Meyerson
      Pages 80-85
    11. Émile Meyerson
      Pages 86-87
    12. Émile Meyerson
      Pages 88-94
    13. Émile Meyerson
      Pages 95-100
    14. Émile Meyerson
      Pages 101-103
    15. Émile Meyerson
      Pages 104-110
    16. Émile Meyerson
      Pages 111-113
    17. Émile Meyerson
      Pages 114-119
    18. Émile Meyerson
      Pages 120-131
    19. Émile Meyerson
      Pages 132-142

About this book


When the author of Identity and Reality accepted Langevin's suggestion that Meyerson "identify the thought processes" of Einstein's relativity theory, he turned from his assured perspective as historian of the sciences to the risky bias of contemporary philosophical critic. But Emile Meyerson, the epis­ temologist as historian, could not find a more rigorous test of his conclusions from historical learning than the interpretation of Einstein's work, unless perhaps he were to turn from the classical revolution of Einstein's relativity to the non-classical quantum theory. Meyerson captures our sympathy in all his writings: " . . . the role of the epistemologist is . . . in following the development of science" (250); the study of the evolution of reason leads us to see that "man does not experience himself reasoning . . . which is carried on unconsciously," and as the summation of his empirical studies of the works and practices of scientists, "reason . . . behaves in an altogether predict­ able way: . . . first by making the consequent equivalent to the antecedent, and then by actually denying all diversity in space" (202). If logic - and to Meyerson the epistemologist is logician - is to understand reason, then "logic proceeds a posteriori. " And so we are faced with an empirically based Par­ menides, and, as we shall see, with an ineliminable 'irrational' within science. Meyerson's story, written in 1924, is still exciting, 60 years later.


Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel Immanuel Kant Plato René Descartes experience history of science imagination knowledge object reason reduction relativism theory of relativity

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title The Relativistic Deduction
  • Book Subtitle Epistemological Implications of the Theory of Relativity
  • Authors Émile Meyerson
  • Series Title Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1985
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-90-277-1699-6
  • Softcover ISBN 978-94-010-8805-3
  • eBook ISBN 978-94-009-5211-9
  • Series ISSN 0068-0346
  • Series E-ISSN 2214-7942
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages , 290
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Additional Information Originally published in French
  • Topics Philosophy of Science
    History, general
  • Buy this book on publisher's site