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Heinrich Hertz’s Neo-Kantian Philosophy of Science, and its Development by Harald Høffding

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Summary

This article is an investigation of parallel themes in Heinrich Hertz’s philosophy science and Kant’s theory of schemata, symbols and regulative ideas. It is argued that Hertz’s “pictures” bears close similarities to Kantian “schemata”, that is, they are rules linking concepts to intuitions and provide them with their meaning. Kant’s distinction between symbols and schemata is discussed and related to Hertz’s three pictures of mechanics. It is argued that Hertz considered his own picture of mechanics (the “hidden mass” picture) as symbolic in a different way than the force and energy pictures. In the final part of the article it is described how Harald Høffding soon after the publication of Hertz’s Principles of Mechanics developed a general theory of analogical reasoning, relying on the ideas of Hertz and Kant.

Key words

analogy picture theory schema symbol Hertz Høffding Kant 

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© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medicinal ChemistryThe Danish University of Pharmaceutical SciencesDenmark

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