Article ID: CBB883375337

Fenomenologia e matematica nell’opera di Helmholtz e di Kirchhoff (2013)


My study deals with Helmholtz’s and Kirchhoff’s philosophy on the nature and role of a phenomenological approach to physics, as evidenced by their outstanding contributions to nineteenth-century science. I emphasize the conviction that it was necessary to reach a reasonable compromise between two contrasting approaches that were presented in the physics of their time. An observational qualitative method widely spread among the so-called romantic scientists was in fact counterpoised to an equally rooted belief in the indispensable role of a mathematical physics, in accordance with the French and English models. By supporting a mathematical phenomenology, Helmholtz’s and Kirchhoff’s thoughts stood on the cusp between the two contrasting tendencies. Their philosophical and scientific contributions paved the way for the development of modern physics.

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Authors & Contributors
James, Frank A.J.L.
Kockelmans, Joseph J.
Kvasz, Ladislav
Davey, Kevin
Katzir, Shaul
Hennig, Jochen
Archive for History of Exact Sciences
Ambix: Journal of the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry
Philosophia Naturalis
British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences
Nuncius: Annali di Storia della Scienza
University of California, Berkeley
Edizioni ETS
World Scientific
Philosophy of science
Mathematical physics
Kirchhoff, Gustav Robert
Helmholtz, Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand von
Bunsen, Robert Wilhelm von
Galilei, Galileo
Husserl, Edmund
Curie, Pierre
Time Periods
19th century
20th century, early
20th century
17th century
Central Europe: Germany, Austria, Switzerland
United States
Pisa (Italy)

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