Symbol and Physical Knowledge

On the Conceptual Structure of Physics

  • Massimo Ferrari
  • Ion-Olimpiu Stamatescu

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XV
  2. Introduction

  3. Views on Symbol in the Philosophy of Sciences

  4. On the Symbolic Structure of Physics

  5. Back Matter
    Pages 230-230

About this book


This book tackles the question of the symbolic structure of physics, a topic which is implicit in any theory of knowledge, but one that often seems to be ignored as an explicit and central element in today's epistemological debates. The elucidation of this problem should benefit a number of ongoing discussions and can help to avoid much recurring confusion. The contributions to the book have been chosen so as to provide a coherent view, ultimately addressing the relation between the concepts used in science and the real world. The first part provides an introduction to the problem as it arises in physics, and to the modern history of symbols. The subject of the second part is the epistemological discussion taking place between physicists and philosophers about the role of symbols in our knowledge of Nature. The third part addresses key issues related to the methodology of physics and the character of its symbolic structures. The aim of this book is to provide a consistent, if not comprehensive, view, emphasizing aspects that are paradigmatic for the natural sciences as a whole.


Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Natur Symbol knowledge mechanics philosophy of science quantum mechanics science subject theory of science

Editors and affiliations

  • Massimo Ferrari
    • 1
  • Ion-Olimpiu Stamatescu
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Storia e Metodologie ComparateUniversità degli Studi dell’AquilaL’AquilaItaly
  2. 2.Forschungsstätte der Evangelischen Studiengemeinschaft (FESt)HeidelbergGermany
  3. 3.Institut für Theoretische PhysikUniversität HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2002
  • Publisher Name Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-3-642-07474-5
  • Online ISBN 978-3-662-04855-9
  • Buy this book on publisher's site