Hermann von Helmholtz’s Mechanism: The Loss of Certainty: A Study on the Transition from Classical to Modern Philosophy of Nature
Focusing on Hermann von Helmholtz, this study addresses one of the nineteenth century’s most important German natural scientists. Among his most well-known contributions to science are the invention of the ophthalmoscope and grou- breaking work towards formulating the law of the conservation of energy. The volume of his work, reaching from medicine to physiology to physics and epis- mology, his impact on the development of the sciences far beyond German borders, and the contribution he made to the organization and popularization of research, all established Helmholtz’s prominence both in the academic world and in public cultural life. Helmholtz was also one of the last representatives of a conception of nature that strove to reduce all phenomena to matter in motion. In reaction to the increasingly insurmountable difficulties that program had in fulfilling its own standards for s- entific explanation, he developed elements of a modern understanding of science that have remained of fundamental importance to this day.
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assumption atoms axioms Cahan causality causes claim to truth claim to validity classical conception classical mechanism conception of nature conception of science conservation of energy context contrast definition dynamic mechanism early modern electrodynamics elementary elements Engl epistemology equations existence experience experimental explanation explicitly external world fact footnote formal foundation fundamental geometry Helmholtz 1856 ff Helmholtz 1862 Helmholtz 1878a Helmholtz’s conception Helmholtz’s mechanism Hermann von Helmholtz hypothetical idea induction interpretation intuition Kant Kant’s Koenigsberger 1902 f lecture Leibniz mathematical matter meaning mechanistic conception mentioned metaphysical modern conception motion natural law natural phenomena natural research natural science Newton nineteenth century objects philosophy of nature philosophy of science physical physiology principle reality relation relativization Riemann science’s scientific knowledge scientistic Section sensations sense sensory perception space spatial speech statements structure theoretical theory of perception theory of science thermodynamics tion transition Treatise worldview