A Foundation for Theoretical Physics in Hertz’s Introduction to Die Prinzipien der Mechanik

  • Salvo D’Agostino
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 213)


In reading Hertz’s technical papers on his experiments in Electrodynamics, his reflections on them in his theoretical papers1 and his Bild conception of physical theory in his most conclusive work2, one is led to see a thread which, more or less evident at the beginning and more clearly apparent at the end, interweaves all of Hertz’s thought. (One can also use the term intersections, to indicate the intricacy of themes in this thought.) These interweavings are also manifest on a mere philological level, through the recurrence of certain words and sentences in his writings. The interweavings in Hertz’s works are highlighted in my previous essay on the role played by his 1884 conceptions in his 1888 discovery of contiguous action and electromagnetic waves.


Mechanical Representation Inertial Motion Primitive Concept Distant Force Axiomatic Structure 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Salvo D’Agostino
    • 1
  1. 1.Università “La Sapienza”RomaItaly

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