• Mechanics without mechanisms
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 62 45-55. 2018.
    At the time of Heinrich Hertz's premature death in 1894, he was regarded as one of the leading scientists of his generation. However, the posthumous publication of his treatise in the foundations of physics, "Principles of Mechanics", presents a curious historical situation. Although Hertz's book was widely praised and admired, it was also met with a general sense of dissatisfaction. Almost all of Hertz's contemporaries criticized "Principles" for the lack of any plausible way to construct a mec…Read more
  • Relativism in the Philosophy of Science
    Cambridge University Press. 2021.
    'Relativism versus absolutism' is one of the fundamental oppositions that have dominated reflections about science for much of its history. Often these reflections have been inseparable from wider social-political concerns regarding the position of science in society. Where does this debate stand in the philosophy and sociology of science today? And how does the 'relativism question' relate to current concerns with 'post truth' politics? In Relativism in the Philosophy of Science, Martin Kusch e…Read more
  • “Protoplasm Feels”: The Role of Physiology in Charles Sanders Peirce’s Evolutionary Metaphysics
    Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 8 (1): 28-61. 2018.
    This essay is an attempt to explain why Charles Sanders Peirce’s evolutionary metaphysics would not have seemed strange to its original 1890s audience. Building on the pioneering work of Andrew Reynolds, I will excavate the scientific context of Peirce’s Monist articles—in particular “The Law of Mind” and “Man’s Glassy Essence,” both published in 1892—focusing on the relationship between protoplasm, evolution, and consciousness. I argue that Peirce’s discussions should be understood in the conte…Read more
  • The Ways of Hilbert's Axiomatics: Structural and Formal
    Perspectives on Science 22 (1): 133-157. 2014.
    Hilbert gave lectures on the foundations of mathematics throughout his career. Notes for many of them have been preserved and are treasures of information; they allow us to reconstruct the path from Hilbert's logicist position, deeply influenced by Dedekind and presented in lectures starting around 1890, to the program of finitist proof theory in the early 1920s. The development toward proof theory begins, in some sense, in 1917 when Hilbert gave his talk Axiomatisches Denken in Zürich. This tal…Read more
  • In recent years, Reichenbach's 1920 conception of the principles of coordination has attracted increased attention after Michael Friedman's attempt to revive Reichenbach's idea of a "relativized a priori". This paper follows the origin and development of this idea in the framework of Reichenbach's distinction between the axioms of coordination and the axioms of connection. It suggests a further differentiation among the coordinating axioms and accordingly proposes a different account of Reichenb…Read more
  • Logical Empiricism in International Context (review)
    Adam Tamas Tuboly
    Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science. forthcoming.
  • Pasch’s philosophy of mathematics
    Review of Symbolic Logic 3 (1): 93-118. 2010.
    Moritz Pasch (1843ber neuere Geometrie (1882), in which he also clearly formulated the view that deductions must be independent from the meanings of the nonlogical terms involved. Pasch also presented in these lectures the main tenets of his philosophy of mathematics, which he continued to elaborate on throughout the rest of his life. This philosophy is quite unique in combining a deductivist methodology with a radically empiricist epistemology for mathematics. By taking into consideration publi…Read more
  • Hermann Cohen and Alois Riehl on Geometrical Empiricism
    Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 4 (1): 83-105. 2014.
    When non-Euclidean geometry was developed in the nineteenth century, both scientists and philosophers addressed the question as to whether the Kantian theory of space ought to be refurbished or even rejected. The possibility of considering a variety of hypotheses regarding physical space appeared to contradict Kant’s supposition of Euclid’s geometry as a priori knowledge and suggested the view that the geometry of space is a matter for empirical investigation. In this article, I discuss two diff…Read more
  • On Tait on Kant and Finitism
    Journal of Philosophy 113 (5/6): 274-285. 2016.
    In his “Kant and Finitism” Tait attempts to connect his analysis of finitist arithmetic with Kant’s perspective on arithmetic. The examination of this attempt is the basis for a distinctive view on the dramatic methodological shift from Kant to Dedekind and Hilbert. Dedekind’s 1888 essay “Was sind und was sollen die Zahlen?” gives a logical analysis of arithmetic, whereas Hilbert’s 1899 book “Grundlagen der Geometrie” presents such an analysis of geometry or, as Hilbert puts it, of our spatial i…Read more
  • A Companion to Latin American Philosophy (edited book)
    Susana Nuccetelli, Ofelia Schutte, OtÁ Bueno, and Vio
    Wiley-Blackwell. 2009.
  • This chapter explores perspectivism in the American Pragmatist tradition. On the one hand, the thematization of perspectivism in contemporary epistemology and philosophy of science can benefit from resources in the American Pragmatist philosophical tradition. On the other hand, the Pragmatists have interesting and innovative, pluralistic views that can be illuminated through the lens of perspectivism. I pursue this inquiry primarily through examining relevant sources from the Pragmatist traditio…Read more
  • Editorial: The Review Process
    Ethics 130 (1): 1-4. 2019.
  • Ernst Mach’s philosophical ideas were warmly received in America, which already had a pragmatist tradition close to Machian empiricism and budding schools of philosophy, psychology, and physics more or free of the neo-Kantian influences which were a strong academic competitor to the spread of empiricism in Europe. The founding pragmatists Charles Sanders Peirce and William James engaged directly with Mach and Paul Carus, the editor of the Monist and publisher of the Open Court press actively tra…Read more
  • The paper aims to investigate some aspects of Ernst Mach’s epistemology in the light of the problem of human orientation in relation to the world (Weltorientierung), which is a main topic of Western philosophy since Kant. As will be argued, Mach has been concerned with that problem, insofar as he developed an original pragmatist epistemology. In order to support my argument, I firstly investigate whether Mach defended a nominalist or a realist account of knowledge and compare his view to those e…Read more
  • Mach, Jerusalem and Pragmatism
    In Friedrich Stadler (ed.), Ernst Mach – Life, Work, Influence, Springer Verlag. 2019.
    Ernst Mach’s positivism, it is argued in this paper, may be regarded as a version of pragmatist philosophy of science. Already James’s biographer Perry detected such tendencies in Mach and this is confirmed here by close attention to Mach’s early works, esp. History and Root of the Principle of the Conservation of Energy and The Science of Mechanics. Both Mach’s principle of the economy of thought and his principle of scientific significance are shown to bear out his pragmatism. A similar conclu…Read more
  • Mach has long been an important figure in the history of relativity, but the nature of his role has remained controversial. This essay contributes to this discussion by connecting Mach’s critical philosophical perspective more fully to his diverse experimental research and pedagogical contributions to mechanics, and charting his changing presentations of these over some time. In particular, linking Mach’s early research in sense perception and psychophysics to his conceptual critiques of mechani…Read more
  • This paper attempts to show how the logical empiricists’ interpretation of the relation between geometry and reality emerges from a “collision” of mathematical traditions. Considering Riemann’s work as the initiator of a 19th century geometrical tradition, whose main protagonists were Helmholtz and Poincaré, the logical empiricists neglected the fact that Riemann’s revolutionary insight flourished instead in a non-geometrical tradition dominated by the works of Christoffel and Ricci-Curbastro ro…Read more
  • Traditions in Collision: The Emergence of Logical Empiricism between the Riemannian and Helmholtzian Traditions
    Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 7 (2): 328-380. 2017.
    This paper attempts to explain the emergence of the logical empiricist philosophy of space and time as a collision of mathematical traditions. The historical development of the ``Riemannian'' and ``Helmholtzian'' traditions in 19th century mathematics is investigated. Whereas Helmholtz's insistence on rigid bodies in geometry was developed group theoretically by Lie and philosophically by Poincaré, Riemann's Habilitationsvotrag triggered Christoffel's and Lipschitz's work on quadratic differenti…Read more
  • Hermann Cohen’s Principle of the Infinitesimal Method: A Defense
    Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 10 (2): 440-470. 2020.
    In Bertrand Russell's 1903 Principles of Mathematics, he offers an apparently devastating criticism of the neo-Kantian Hermann Cohen's Principle of the Infinitesimal Method and its History (PIM). Russell's criticism is motivated by his concern that Cohen's account of the foundations of calculus saddles mathematics with the paradoxes of the infinitesimal and continuum, and thus threatens the very idea of mathematical truth. This paper defends Cohen against that objection of Russell's, and argues …Read more
  • Völkerpsychologie and the Origins of Hermann Cohen’s Antipsychologism
    Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 10 (1): 254-273. 2020.
    Some commentators on Hermann Cohen have remarked on what they take to be a puzzle about the origins of his mature anti-psychologism. When Cohen was young, he studied a kind of psychology, the Völkerpsychologie of Moritz Lazarus and Heymann Steinthal, and wrote apparently psycholgistic accounts of knowledge almost up until the moment he first articulated his anti-psychologistic neo-Kantianism. To be sure, Cohen's mature anti psycholgism does constitute a rejection of certain central commitments o…Read more
  • Philosophy of History and History of Philosophy of Science
    Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 7 (1): 1-30. 2017.
    hilosophy of history and history of philosophy of science make for an interesting case of “mutual containment”: the former is an object of inquiry for the latter, and the latter is subject to the demands of the former. This article discusses a seminal turn in past philosophy of history with an eye to the practice of historians of philosophy of science. The narrative turn by Danto and Mink represents both a liberation for historians and a new challenge to the objectivity of their findings. I will…Read more
  • Curing Pansophia through Eruditum Nescire: Bernard Nieuwentijt’s Epistemology of Modesty
    Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 7 (2): 272-301. 2017.
  • Making Medical Knowledge
    Oxford University Press. 2015.
    How is medical knowledge made? There have been radical changes in recent decades, through new methods such as consensus conferences, evidence-based medicine, translational medicine, and narrative medicine. Miriam Solomon explores their origins, aims, and epistemic strengths and weaknesses; and she offers a pluralistic approach for the future
  • Measurement, coordination, and the relativized a priori
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics. forthcoming.
  • Kant and the Art of Schematism
    Kantian Review 19 (2): 181-205. 2014.
    In the Critique of Pure Reason, Kant describes schematism as a (A141/B180–1). While most commentators treat this as Kant's metaphorical way of saying schematism is something too obscure to explain, I argue that we should follow up Kant's clue and treat schematism literally as Kunst. By letting our interpretation of schematism be guided by Kant's theoretically exact ways of using the term Kunst in the Critique of Judgment we gain valuable insight into the nature of schematism, as well as its conn…Read more
  • In lieu of a programmatic argument about the general relations of history of science and philosophy of science, this essay offers a particular topic in the history of philosophy of science that should be of interest to both historians and philosophers of science. It argues that questions typical of contemporary history of science could illuminate the recent history of philosophy of science and analytic philosophy. It also suggests that the history of scientific philosophy is a particularly fruit…Read more
  • Occasions for an Empirical History of Philosophy of Science: American Philosophers of Science at Work in the 1950s and 1960s
    Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 2 (1): 1-20. 2012.
  • A Road Map of Dedekind’s Theorem 66
    Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 8 (2): 241-277. 2018.
    Richard Dedekind’s theorem 66 states that there exists an infinite set. Its proof invokes such apparently nonmathematical notions as the thought-world and the self. This article discusses the content and context of Dedekind’s proof. It is suggested that Dedekind took the notion of the thought-world from Hermann Lotze. The influence of Kant and Bernard Bolzano on the proof is also discussed, and the reception of the proof in the mathematical and philosophical literature is covered in detail.