Between physics and philosophy. by Philipp Frank

By Philipp Frank

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Are admitted, under a different name and through a back door especially arranged for this, into the sanctuary of science. Such names and corresponding motivations are by no means few. Without any effort the writer collected a full dozen of them: 'most complete and simplest description' (Kirchhoff), . . 'subjective means of research,' 'requirement of conceivability of facts,' 'restriction of possibilities,' 'restriction of expectation,' 'result of analytical investigation,' 'economy of thought,' 'biological advantage' (all of these employed by E.

The 'in itself' is a contradictory conception, to be sure: a 'quality in itself' is nonsense: we have the concept 'being,' 'thing,' always only as a relation concept. . ' . " 25 Nietzsche's most significant expression of the positivistic world conception is probably given in the 24 25 Nietzsche, The Will to Power, No. 289. Op. , No. 291. ERNST MACH'S PHILOSOPHY 53 aphorism, called "On the Psychology of Metaphysics," where he attack with cutting sharpness the employment of very frequently misused concepts: "This world is apparent: consequently there exists a true world; — this world is conditional: consequently there exists an unconditional world; — this world is full of contradictions: consequently there exists a world that is free from contradictions; — this world is changing: consequently there exists a permanent world; — all false conclusions: (blind faith in the reasoning: if there is A, there must also be its antithetical concept » 26 It is not to be denied that the philosophy of enlightenment possesses a tragic feature.

Study, Die realistische Weltansicht und die Lehre vom Räume (Brunswick, 1914). o BETWEEN PHYSICS AND PHILOSOPHY nomical means of expression for summarizing these connections. " T h e aim of natural science," says Mach, "is to obtain connections among phenomena. " 3 This phenomenalistic conception, as it is called, was already familiar to Goethe. In his posthumous "Maxims and Reflections" he says: " H y potheses are the scaffolds which are erected in front of a building and removed when the building is completed.

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