Heinrich Hertz and the Concept of a Symbol

In Massimo Ferrari & Ion-Olympiu Stamatescu (eds.), Symbol and Physical Knowledge. Berlin Heidelberg: Springer. pp. 109-121 (2002)
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In a recently published article A. Nordmann highlighted the fact that Hertz considered it as the greatest pleasure of scientific research to be “alone with nature” and to learn “directly from nature” (see Nordmann, 1998, p. 156). Hertz contrasts this being on his own with nature with the “disputes about human opinions views and demands. (see Nordmann, 1998, p. 156) . It is this contrast between nature on the one hand and human beliefs etc. on the other that is fundamental for his central epistemological pursuit: the attempt to sort out which features of our theories can be attributed to nature as opposed to those which depend on us. I will discuss the various writings in which Hertz touches this subject.
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