By Evandro Agazzi, Massimo Pauri (auth.), Evandro Agazzi, Massimo Pauri (eds.)

Observability and medical Realism it truly is usually notion that the beginning of contemporary ordinary technological know-how used to be made attainable via an highbrow shift from a commonly summary and specuJative perception of the area to a delicately elaborated snapshot in line with observations. there's a few grain of fact during this declare, yet this grain relies a great deal on what one takes commentary to be. within the philosophy of technology of our century, remark has been essentially equated with feel belief. this is often comprehensible if we predict of the perspective of radical empiricism that encouraged Ernst Mach and the philosophers of the Vienna Circle, who powerfully prompted our century's philosophy of technology. besides the fact that, this was once now not the atti tude of the f ounders of recent technological know-how: Galileo, f or instance, expressed in a f amous passage of the Assayer the conviction that perceptual gains of the realm are simply subjective, and are produced within the 'anima!' by way of the movement and affects of unobservable debris which are endowed uniquely with mathematically expressible homes, and that are for this reason the genuine positive aspects of the realm. furthermore, on different events, while protecting the Copernican concept, he explicitly remarked that during admitting that the solar is static and the Earth activates its personal axis, 'reason needs to do violence to the feel' , and that it truly is because of this violence that one could recognize the tme structure of the universe.

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Nowadays, one would like to say that Boltzmann suggested the use of theoretical terms. In the language of his time the crucial relevant metatheoretic concept was that of a piclUre (Bild), sometimes also model. It is a ceterum censeo in Boltzmann's papers that theoretical physics, strictly speaking, does not deal with things themselves but with certain pictures instead that we take of them. "19 IfBoltzmann here quotes that in the theory we make ourselves pictures of the phenomena, this conceals a little his proper point that in theory we try to use pictures precisely where the phenomena are missing.

He stood at the threshold of the final establishment of modern atomism. As a young man he was a pure physicist who had enlarged the kinetic theory of gases, initiated by Clausius and Maxwell, by adding the famous equation that bears his name. Kinetic theory, however, was an atomistic theory, and atoms remained a speculative object during the whole of the 19th century. Many physicists, disappointed by the influences from German idealism, adopted a decided positivistic or, as it was called in those times, phenomenological attitude that was not in favour of atomism.

At the end of the period in question, in a lecture of 1948,5 Amold Sommerfeld summarizes the development in the following words: "During the 19th century the relation between physics and philosophy was strained. First philosophy dominated and wanted to prescribe physics its way ... Later the physicists had become suspicious and rejected any philosophy... 6 The divorce that followed was so thorough that it led to the definite methodical emancipation of the Geisteswissenschaften as well as to a lasting puristic and partially positivistic attitude of the physicists towards their discipline.

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