Article ID: CBB000641781

The Bild Conception of Physical Theory: Helmholtz, Hertz, and Schrödinger (2004)


Hermann von Helmholtz (1821--1894) criticized the objective conception of physical theory, denying that theoretical concepts are ldquoimagesrdquo of physical objects. Heinrich Hertz (1857--1894) and Erwin Schrödinger (1887--1961) used the term Bild to designate their conception of physical theory, meaning an intellectual construct whose relationship to phenomena was to be analyzed. The main features of their Bild conception were an outspoken anti-inductivism and an affirmation of a partial separation of physical theory and experimental observations. Once accepted, the Bild conception loosened the bonds that still justified the attempts at the end of the nineteenth century, such Helmholtzrsquos and Hertzrsquos, to unify physics through a generalized form of mechanics and opened the way to the innovations of Einsteinrsquos theory of relativity. Key words. Hermann von Helmholtz - Heinrich Hertz - Erwin Schrödinger - Bild conception of physical theory

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Authors & Contributors
Buchwald, Jed Z.
Blackmore, John T.
Mulligan, Joseph F.
Dosch, Hans Günther
Koenigsberger, Leo
D'Agostino, Salvatore
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
American Journal of Physics
Études de Lettres: Revue de la Faculté des Lettres de l'Université de Lausanne
Archive for History of Exact Sciences
Perspectives on Science
Llull: Revista de la Sociedad Española de Historia de las Ciencias y de las Técnicas
Edizioni ETS
Sentinel Open Press
Thoemmes Press
History of philosophy of science
Philosophy of science
Helmholtz, Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand von
Hertz, Heinrich Rudolph
Mach, Ernst
Einstein, Albert
Planck, Max
Wittgenstein, Ludwig
Time Periods
19th century
20th century, early
20th century
United States
Central Europe: Germany, Austria, Switzerland

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