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.
Hans Reichenbach’s Writings on Space, Time, and Motion
Steven Gimbel Anke Walz
Gettysburg College Kutztown University
CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
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© Steven Gimbel and Anke Walz 2006
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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.
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.
530.11 – dc22 2005036291
ISBN-13 978-0-521-85958-5 hardback
ISBN-10 0-521-85958-1 hardback
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the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or
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|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|