Throughout the second half of the nineteenth century in Europe, physicists such as Helmholtz, Maxwell, Hertz, Mach, Boltzmann, Planck, Poincaré’ et al. were all aware of the philosophical problems implicitly present in the theories of physics. Through their reflective criticism, documented in a rich epistemological literature unequalled in our times, they made a major contribution to the process of shaping that peculiar mentality which distinguished the theoretician from the experimentalist. This trend continued into the first decades of our century.
KeywordsReflective Criticism Philosophical Problem Pure Theory Competent Physicist Theoretical Language
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