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On Boltzmann’s Mechanics and His Bild-Conception of Physical Theory

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

Abstract

When, in 1892, Boltzmann published “On the Methods of theoretical physics”,1 he had read2 Hertz’s 1890 lecture on the relation between light and electricity, Maxwell’s important works, “A Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field”, and A Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism, as well as Maxwell’s booklet, Matter and Motion, Concerning models, Boltzmann’s main interest was Maxwell’s method of “mechanical analogies”, a method that Boltzmann accepted because in physical theory “the new approach compensates the abandonment of complete congruence with nature by the correspondingly more striking appearance of the points of similarity”. Nevertheless he rejects any generalisation of Maxwell’s ideas “that knowledge itself is nothing else than the finding of analogies”3 and he also refuses to abandon completely the old method as supposedly “worn out in spite of all it has done”.

Keywords

Mental Picture Probabilistic Conception Complete Congruence Profound Aversion Contiguous Action 
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.
    Boltzmann [1974] 5–12.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Boltzmann[1974] 10.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Boltzmann [1974] 11.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Boltzmann [1974] 77–100.Google Scholar
  5. 6.
    In two essays he defended atomism on epistemological grounds and in his 1897 “On the Question of Objective Existence of Processes in Inanimate Nature” (Boltzmann [1974] 57–76), he attempted a coherent presentation of an evolutionary epistemology.Google Scholar
  6. 7.
    Boltzmann [1974] 83.Google Scholar
  7. 9.
    Boltzmann [1974] 83.Google Scholar
  8. 10.
    Boltzmann [1974] 87.Google Scholar
  9. 11.
    Boltzmann [1974] 90–91.Google Scholar
  10. 12.
    Boltzmann [1974] 91.Google Scholar
  11. 13.
    Boltzmann [1974] 94.Google Scholar
  12. 14.
    Boltzmann [1974] 94.Google Scholar
  13. 15.
    Boltzmann [1974] 96.Google Scholar
  14. 16.
    Fasol-Boltzmann [1990] 12–13.Google Scholar
  15. 17.
    Boltzmann [1974] 101–128.Google Scholar
  16. 18.
    Boltzmann [1974] 105.Google Scholar
  17. 19.
    Boltzmann [1974] 105.Google Scholar
  18. 20.
    Boltzmann [1974] 105Google Scholar
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    Boltzmann [1974] 159–172.Google Scholar
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    Boltzmann [1974] 166.Google Scholar
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    Boltzmann [1974] 169.Google Scholar
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    Boltzmann [1974] 111.Google Scholar
  25. 27.
    Boltzmann “On the fundamental Principles”, [1899], reprinted in: Boltzmann [1974] 119.Google Scholar
  26. 28.
    Hertz, The Principles of Mechanics presented in a new Form, in: Hertz [1956] 26.Google Scholar
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    Boltzmann [1974] 117.Google Scholar
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    Boltzmann [1974] 118.Google Scholar
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    Boltzmann “On aThesis of Schopenhauer” [1905], Boltzmann [1974] 185–198, 195.Google Scholar
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    Boltzmann “On the Principles of Mechanics” [1900]; Boltzmann [1974] 129–152, 133.Google Scholar
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    Kuhn [1978] 70. I believe that Boltzmann’s Bild-conception of theory, pointing as it was to developments beyond his conception of generalised mechanics, was responsible for this prevarication.Google Scholar
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    Bergia [1988].Google Scholar
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    Boltzmann, Vorwort [1981] IV.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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