Symmetry and Rationality

  • Jüri Tammaru
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 219)


The present brief paper makes an attempt to formulate some historical types of the standards of rationality applied in science, and to define them by means of the concept of symmetry in the form of certain principles of symmetry based on the principle of symmetry, worded by P. Curie.


Classical Mechanic Sufficient Reason Classical Thermodynamic Historical Type Metaphysical Necessity 
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  1. Curie, P. 1966 ’On the Symmetry of Physical Phenomena: Symmetry of the Electric and Magnetic Fields’. Selected Papers.Moscow - Leningrad: Nauka. [In Russian. This paper was first published as ‘Sur la sumétrie des phénomènes phusiques’. In Journal de phusique, 3eserie, 1894, III.]Google Scholar
  2. Fraassen, van B. C. 1989 Laws and Symmetry.Oxford: Clarendon Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Krindach, V. P., Spassky, B. I. 1972 ‘The Substantiation and Some Applications of the Principle of Symmetry by Pierre Curie’. Proceedings of Moscow University. Series 3: Physics and Astronomy, 13: 4 [In Russian]Google Scholar
  4. Toulmin, S. 1972 Human Understanding.Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jüri Tammaru
    • 1
  1. 1.University of TartuEstonia

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