The General Relativity Genesis: an Intertheoretic Context

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Abstract. The theory-change epistemological model, tried on maxwellian revolution and special relativity genesis, is unfolded to apprehend general relativity genesis. It is exhibited that the dynamics of general relativity (GR) construction was largely governed by internal tensions of special relativity and Newton’s theory of gravitation. The research traditions’ encounter engendered construction of the hybrid domain at first with an irregular set of theoretical models. However, step by step, on revealing and gradual eliminating the contradictions between the models involved, the hybrid set was put into order with a help of equivalence principle. A hierarchy of theoretical models starting from the crossbreeds and up to usual hybrids was moulded. The claim to put forward is that Einstein’s unification design could be successfully implemented since his programme embraced the ideas of the Nordström research programme, as well as the presuppositions of the programme of Max Abraham. By and large Einstein’s victory over his rivals became possible because the core of his research strategy was formed by the equivalence principle comprehended in the light of Kantian epistemology. It is stated that the theories of Nordström and Abraham contrived before November 25, 1915, were not merely the scaffolds to construct the GR basic model. They are still the necessary part of the whole GR theory necessary for its common use. Key words: Einstein, Nordstrom, Abraham, general relativity.
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