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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)

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Mechanical Representation Inertial Motion Primitive Concept Distant Force Axiomatic Structure 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Hertz [1962] 195–249; Hertz [1962] 241–268.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Hertz, Introduction [1956] 1–41.Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    Hertz [1956] 8.Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    Hertz [1956] 12.Google Scholar
  5. 7.
    Hertz [1956] 26, 41.Google Scholar
  6. 8.
    Hertz [1956] 25.Google Scholar
  7. 9.
    Hertz [1956] 14.Google Scholar
  8. 10.
    Hertz [1956] 14.Google Scholar
  9. 11.
    Hertz [1956] 16.Google Scholar
  10. 12.
    Hertz [1956] 18.Google Scholar
  11. 13.
    Hertz, Introduction [1956] 2,3.Google Scholar
  12. 14.
    Hertz [1956] 18.Google Scholar
  13. 15.
    Hertz [1956] 22.Google Scholar
  14. 16.
    Hertz [1956] 23.Google Scholar
  15. 18.
    Hertz [1956] 24.Google Scholar
  16. 21.
    D’Agostino [1975] 295.Google Scholar
  17. 22.
    Hertz [1956] 25.Google Scholar
  18. 23.
    Hertz [1956] 25.Google Scholar
  19. 25.
    Hertz [1962] 21.Google Scholar
  20. 26.
    Hertz [1956] 4.Google Scholar
  21. 27.
    Hertz [1956] 4.Google Scholar
  22. 28.
    Hertz [1962] 21.Google Scholar
  23. 29.
    Hertz [1962] 21.Google Scholar
  24. 30.
    Königsberger[1965] 293. In Helmholtz’s eyes, theoretical physics was also an empirical science and he struggled “to break down the barrier between experimental and theoretical physics” (Königsberger[1965] 284). Helmholtz’s aversion towards a certain kind of abstractness stemmed from his polemic against the late followers of German Naturphilosophie.Google Scholar
  25. 31.
    Helmholtz, preface, in: Hertz [1956] xvi. Helm0holtz never ceased to adhere to his ownconceptions of elektrodynamics. In his preface he is still unwilling renounce to his double force view (preface, VIII).Google Scholar
  26. 32.
    Chevalley [1991] 558–559, Glossaire. Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

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

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