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Defending Einstein


  • Page extent: 224 pages
  • Size: 216 x 138 mm
  • Weight: 0.43 kg
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 (ISBN-13: 9780521859585 | ISBN-10: 0521859581)

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Defending Einstein

Hans Reichenbach, a philosopher of science who was one of five students in Einstein’s first seminar on the general theory of relativity, became Einstein’s bulldog, defending the theory against criticism from philosophers, physicists, and popular commentators. This book chronicles the development of Reichenbach’s reconstruction of Einstein’s theory in a way that clearly sets out all of its philosophical commitments and physical predictions as well as the battles that Reichenbach fought on its behalf, in both the academic and popular press. The essays include reviews and responses to philosophical colleagues, such as Moritz Schlick and Hugo Dingler; polemical discussions with the physicists Max Born and D. C. Miller; and popular articles meant to clarify aspects of Einstein’s theories and set out their philosophical ramifications for the layperson. This book is a window into the development of scientific philosophy and the role of the philosopher at a time when physics and philosophy were both undergoing revolutionary changes in content and method.

Steven Gimbel is associate professor of philosophy at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania, where he was named Luther W. and Bernice L. Thompson Distinguished Teacher in 2005. He has contributed to Philosophy of Science, British Journal of Philosophy of Science, and Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics.

Anke Walz is assistant professor of mathematics at Kutztown University. Her work on the bellows conjecture relating to flexible polyhedrals with R. Connely and I. Sabitov has appeared in Beiträge zur Algebra und Geometrie and has received coverage in Science and Scientific American.

Defending Einstein

Hans Reichenbach’s Writings on Space, Time, and Motion

Edited by
Steven Gimbel       Anke Walz

Gettysburg College         Kutztown University

Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, Madrid, Cape Town, Singapore, São Paulo

Cambridge University Press
32 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10013-2473, USA
Information on this title:

© Steven Gimbel and Anke Walz 2006

This publication is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception
and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements,
no reproduction of any part may take place without
the written permission of Cambridge University Press.

First published 2006

Printed in the United States of America

A catalog record for this publication is available from the British Library.

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data

Reichenbach, Hans, 1891–1953.
Defending Einstein : Hans Reichenbach’s writings on space, time, and motion /
edited by Steven Gimbel, Anke Walz.
p. cm.
ISBN-13: 978-0-521-85958-5 (hardback)
ISBN-10: 0-521-85958-1 (hardback)
1. Relativity (Physics) 2. Relativity (Physics) – Philosophy. 3. Physics –
Philosophy. I. Gimbel, Steven, 1968– II. Walz, Anke. III. Title.
QC173.55.R439 2006
530.11 – dc22 2005036291

ISBN-13 978-0-521-85958-5 hardback
ISBN-10 0-521-85958-1 hardback

Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for
the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or
third-party Internet Web sites referred to in this publication
and does not guarantee that any content on such
Web sites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.


    Introduction page 1
1   Review of Moritz Schlick’s General Theory of Knowledge 15
2   Einstein’s Theory of Space 21
3   Reply to H. Dingler’s Critique of the Theory of Relativity 31
4   A Report on an Axiomatization of Einstein’s Theory of Space-Time 45
5   Reply to Th. Wulf’s Objections to the General Theory of Relativity 57
6   Einstein’s Theory of Motion 63
7   The Theory of Relativity and Absolute Transport Time 77
8   Reply to Anderson’s Objections to the General Theory of Relativity 87
9   Review of Aloys Müller’s The Philosophical Problems with Einstein’s Theory of Relativity 91
10   The Philosophical Significance of the Theory of Relativity 95
11   Planet Clocks and Einsteinian Simultaneity 161
12   On the Physical Consequences of the Axiomatization of Relativity 171
13   Has the Theory of Relativity Been Refuted? 195
14   Response to a Publication of Mr. Hj. Mellin 205
    Index 215

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