, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 613-616
Date: 03 Jul 2012

Einsteins epistemology and the search for a unified theory

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Einstein’s Unification is an interesting book aiming at providing an explanation of Einstein’s efforts to derive a unified theory of the gravitational and electromagnetic fields. Thanks to van Dongen’s collaboration to the Einstein Collected Papers Project, the book also opens up new perspectives on Einstein’s thought.

The first chapter offers a reconstruction of Einstein’s attempts to derive the field equations for his general theory of relativity (GR); here the author also quotes the fundamental work of Norton (1984) on the same issue. van Dongen identifies a dual strategy in Einstein’s research: on the one hand, a physical approach which dealt with the generalization of the Poisson equation of Newtonian gravity together with the principles of conservation of energy and momentum; on the other hand, a more mathematically oriented approach, namely the formal requirement of general covariance (as a generalization of the principle of relativity). However, it must be briefly noted that thi ...