NINE RARE ARTICLES ON THE THEORY OF RELATIVITY, 1920-1929
(PHYSICS) FEIGL, Herbert. “Theorie und Erfahrung in der Physik,” BOUND WITH: REICHENBACH, Hans. “Kausalstruktur der Welt und der Unterschied von Vergangenheit und Zukunft.” BOUND WITH: Relativitätstheorie und Erkenntnis apriori.” BOUND WITH: BERGMANN, Hugo. “Der Kampf um das Kausalgesetz in der jüngsten Physik.” BOUND WITH: GATTERER, Alois S.J. “Das Problem des statistischen Naturgesetzes.” KNESER, Adolf. “Das Prinzip der Kleinsten Wirkung von Leibniz bis Gegenwart.” BOUND WITH: LOHR, Erwin. “Atomismus und Kontinuitätstheorie in der neuzleitlichen Physik.” BOUND WITH: NUNN, T. Percy. “Anthropomorphism and Physics.” BOUND WITH: LIPSIUS, Friedrich Reinhard. “Wahrheit und Irrtum in der Relativitätstheorie.” Baden, Munich, Berlin, etc.: various publishers, 1920-29. Octavo, contemporary green cloth, original wrappers bound in. $2200.
First editions of articles by Herbert Feigl, Hans Reichenbach, and six other leading scientists and philosophers, offering distinctive approaches to Einstein’s revolutionary work on relativity, each originally published in German, Austrian and English scientific journals (eight in German and one in English) from 1920 to 1929, and bound in one volume.
At the time of Einstein’s pioneering work on relativity, two of the most influential German and Austrian groups also exploring that field were known as the “Vienna Circle,” whose members included Herbert Feigl, and the “Berlin Circle,” led by Hans Reichenbach. Feigl, who played a foundational role in establishing logical positivism, would soon emigrate to the United States in the early 1930s. His article included here, “Der Kampf…,” was later translated and published with his collected writings in 1980. Another key figure in establishing the disciplinary importance of the philosophy of science, Hans Reichenbach was “one of the five to attend Einstein’s first seminar in relativity theory at the University of Berlin” and took a professorship there largely due to “Einstein’s persistent and witty pleading” (DSB). With Hitler’s rise to power, Reichenbach fled to Turkey where he taught at the University of Istanbul until he moved to the United States in 1938. There, until his death in 1953, he was a popular professor of philosophy at the University of California at Los Angeles. The two Reichenbach articles here represent his early but continuing expression of an anti-Kantian premise, one that theorized probability as an alternative to Kant’s notion of synthetic a priori knowledge. Reichenbach’s “Relativitätstheorie und Erkenntnis apriori” was translated into English and published as “The Theory of Relativity and A Priori Knowledge” in 1965.
Along with Reichenbach and Feigl, Hugo Bergmann and Alois Gatterer also wrote on the freshly contested theorizations of time and causality inspired by Einstein. The article by Adolf Kneser, “The Principle of the Smallest Effect from Leibniz to the Present,” represents another milestone in the history of science by “one of the most distinguished German mathematicians” of the turn-of-the-century. An acknowledged “master of analysis,” Kneser’s survey bridges a gap between the previous scope of mathematics and its newly configured role in physics (DSB). The volume’s concluding articles by Erwin Lohr, T. Percy Nunn and Friedrich Lipsius offer additional perspectives on Einstein’s revolutionary theory. Each article comprised an entire issue of the journal in which it appeared, and is bound here in its original wrappers. Typed table of contents attached to front free endpaper.
Some discoloring, slight tears to two leaves without affecting text, front inner hinge expertly reinforced.. A unique collection of important papers in the history of physics, in near-fine condition.