• Pierre Duhem
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 223)


We [179] have followed the evolution of the notion of mixt through the ages, from the first awakening of scientific thought with the Greek philosophers to the abstruse and rapid development that chemical doctrines have undergone during the century which has just ended. In the context of a thousand vicissitudes that follow the incessant discovery of new facts and the bitter struggle between different systems, we have seen the essential traits which characterise this evolution. And these traits appeared to us to resemble those which mark the history of the great theories of physics3.


Physical Theory Logical Analysis Contemporary Physic Greek Philosopher Mechanical Hypothesis 
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  1. 3.
    Cf. P. Duhem, “L’évolution des théories physiques du XVIIe siècle jusqu’à nos jours” Revues des Questions scientifiques,2e série, vol. V, 1896 [translated in this volume as “The Evolution of Physical Theories”].Google Scholar
  2. 6.
    We have developed this point in the following writings: “Quelques réflexions au sujet des théories physiques” Revue des Questions scientifiques,2e série, t. I, 1892.—“Physique et Métaphysique” Ibid.,t. II, 1893.—“Quelques réflexions au sujet de la Physique expérimentale” Ibid.,t. III, 1894. [All three papers are translated in Essays in the History and Philosophy of Science,trans. and ed. by Roger Ariew and Peter Barker, Hackett, Indianapolis and Cambridge, 1996.]Google Scholar

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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2002

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  • Pierre Duhem

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