The Comparative Reception of Relativity

The Comparative Reception of Relativity

The present volume grew out of a double session of the Boston Collo quium for the Philosophy of Science held in Boston on March 25, 1983. The papers presented there (by Biezunski, Glick, Goldberg, and Judith Goodstein!) offered both sufficient comparability to establish regulari ties in the reception of relativity and Einstein's impact in France, Spain, the United States and Italy, and sufficient contrast to suggest the salience of national inflections in the process. The interaction among the participants and the added perspectives offered by members of the audience suggested the interest of commissioning articles for a more inclusive volume which would cover as many national cases as we could muster. Only general guidelines were given to the authors: to treat the special or general theories, or both, hopefully in a multidisciplinary setting, to examine the popular reception of relativity, or Einstein's personal impact, or to survey all these topics. In a previous volume, on the 2 comparative reception of Darwinism, one of us devised a detailed set of guidelines which in general were not followed. In our opinion, the studies in this collection offer greater comparability, no doubt because relativity by its nature and its complexity offers a sharper, more easily bounded target. As in the Darwinism volume, this book concludes with an essay intended to draw together in comparative perspective some of many themes addressed by the participants.

The Relativistic Deduction

Epistemological Implications of the Theory of Relativity With a Review by Albert Einstein and an Introduction by Mili? ?apek

The Relativistic Deduction

When the author of Identity and Reality accepted Langevin's suggestion that Meyerson "identify the thought processes" of Einstein's relativity theory, he turned from his assured perspective as historian of the sciences to the risky bias of contemporary philosophical critic. But Emile Meyerson, the epis temologist as historian, could not find a more rigorous test of his conclusions from historical learning than the interpretation of Einstein's work, unless perhaps he were to turn from the classical revolution of Einstein's relativity to the non-classical quantum theory. Meyerson captures our sympathy in all his writings: " . . . the role of the epistemologist is . . . in following the development of science" (250); the study of the evolution of reason leads us to see that "man does not experience himself reasoning . . . which is carried on unconsciously," and as the summation of his empirical studies of the works and practices of scientists, "reason . . . behaves in an altogether predict able way: . . . first by making the consequent equivalent to the antecedent, and then by actually denying all diversity in space" (202). If logic - and to Meyerson the epistemologist is logician - is to understand reason, then "logic proceeds a posteriori. " And so we are faced with an empirically based Par menides, and, as we shall see, with an ineliminable 'irrational' within science. Meyerson's story, written in 1924, is still exciting, 60 years later.

Uprooting and Integration in the Writings of Simone Weil

Uprooting and Integration in the Writings of Simone Weil

This interdisciplinary study reviews the entirety of Simone Weil's writings on philosophy, history, science, religion, language, folklore and literature in order to give a total perspective of Weil's extensive contributions to twentieth-century thought. In each of these fields, the forces of uprooting and integration move towards a resolution of the problem of estrangement. The extent of Weil's study of the problem of alienation has long been underestimated and so has the value of her contributions. Among these were her role in the formulation of modern existentialist philosophies, her involvement with the crisis of determinism and her refusal of discontinuous forms of probability that had led to quantum mechanics, her denunciation of colonial policies and the bureaucratization of power and labor, and her search for original meaning in language, mythology and poetic expression. This study is an exploration of each of these areas in Weil's writings and the contribution of each to the dialectical power of the forces of uprooting and integration.

Case of the group GSp(4)

Case of the group GSp(4)

This volume, the sequel to volume 298, is devoted to automorphic forms. However, this volume deals with a narrower topic, since it only concerns automorphic representations of the group $\mathrm {GSp}(4)$, mostly over the rationals. It deals with geometric questions (cohomology of Siegel varieties), arithmetic ones (Galois representations associated to cohomological cusp forms), and harmonic analytical ones (twisted fundamental lemma with weights). These questions had been more or less mentioned during the Paris Automorphic Semester in 2000, but the contributions gathered here are mostly later developments.

The n-Body Problem in General Relativity

The n-Body Problem in General Relativity

1 IN THE MONOGRAPH SERIES directed by Henri Villat, several fasci cules have been devoted to Relativity. First there are the general presentations ofTh. De Donder (nos. 8, 14, 43, 58), and then those more specifically devoted to Einsteinian gravitation - notably Georges Darmois's contribution (no. 25) and that of J. Haag (no. 46) on the Schwarzschild problem. The present fascicule takes its place alongside the two latter monographs, but it has been conceived and composed in such a way that it may be read and understood by anyone with a knowledge of the principles of Absolute Differential Calculus and of Relativity - either from the original exposi tions of Einstein, Weyl, or Eddington, or, in French, from Cartan's excel 2 lent works (for everything having to do with mathematical theories) and 3 from Chazy's (for Relativity and Celestial Mechanics), or naturally from Levi-Civita's The Absolute Differential Calculus (first edition, London and Glasgow, Blackie and Son, 1927) where the two original papers written in Italian are brought together: namely, Calcolo differenziale assoluto and Fondamenti di meccanica relativistica (Bologna, Zanichelli). As for the present fascicule, it is hardly necessary to point out that, as its title indicates, we seek to establish in the simplest possible terms the rela tivistic aspect of what Newton and those who followed him regarded as the key to ordinary Celestial Mechanics.

Resource Letters

Resource Letters


Léger and the modern spirit

Léger and the modern spirit

Catalogue of an exhibition held at the Musee d'art moderne de la ville de Paris, Mar. 17-June 6, 1982, and then at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, July 9-Sept. 5, 1982, and at the Musee Rath, Geneva, Nov. 4, 1982-Jan. 16, 1983.