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Philosophie der modernen Physik – Philipp Frank und Abel Rey

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The aim of this paper is to show that the French philosopher and historian of science Abel Rey (1873–1940) played a more influential role in the formative phase of the Vienna Circle than hitherto supposed. On the whole, it will be argued that Rey's contribution had political impact. His interpretation of "modern physics" in 1907 in the face of the alleged "bankruptcy of science" should be appreciated as a masterpiece of applied enlightenment thought. As such, it was especially paradigmatic for Philipp Frank's (politically motivated) "positivist" defense of the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics against the irrationalist tendencies of the 1920s and 1930s.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2010

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