- Title Pages
- To my daughter Anna, who helped me through Boltzmann’s dense German
- FOREWORD
- PREFACE
- FIGURE ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
- Introduction
- 1 A short biography of Ludwig Boltzmann
- 2 Physics before Boltzmann
- 3 Kinetic theory before Boltzmann
- 4 The Boltzmann equation
- 5 Time irreversibility and the H-theorem
- 6 Boltzmann’s relation and the statistical interpretation of entropy
- 7 Boltzmann, Gibbs, and equilibrium statistical mechanics
- 8 The problem of polyatomic molecules
- 9 Boltzmann’s contributions to other branches of physics
- 10 Boltzmann as a philosopher
- 11 Boltzmann and his contemporaries
- 12 The influence of Boltzmann’s ideas on the science and technology of the twentieth century
- EPILOGUE
- CHRONOLOGY
- “A German professor’s journey into Eldorado”*
- Appendix 3.1 Calculation of pressure in a rarefied gas
- Appendix 4.1 The Liouville equation
- Appendix 4.2 Calculation of the effect of collisions of one particle with another
- Appendix 4.3 The BBGKY hierarchy
- Appendix 4.4 The Boltzmann hierarchy and its relation to the Boltzmann equation
- Appendix 4.5 The Boltzmann equation in the homogeneous isotropic case
- Appendix 5.1 Collision-invariants
- Appendix 5.2 Boltzmann’s inequality and the Maxwellian distribution
- Appendix 5.3 The H-theorem
- Appendix 5.4 The hourglass model
- Appendix 6.1 Likelihood of a distribution
- Appendix 7.1 The canonical distribution for equilibrium states
- Appendix 8.1 The H-theorem for classical polyatomic molecules
- Appendix 8.2 The equipartition problem
- Appendix 9.1 The Stefan–Boltzmann law
- Appendix 9.2 Wien’s law
- Chapter 1
- Chapter 2
- Chapter 3
- Chapter 4
- Chapter 5
- Chapter 6
- Chapter 7
- Chapter 8
- Chapter 9
- Chapter 10
- Chapter 11
- Chapter 12
- Epilogue
- Index
Boltzmann as a philosopher
Boltzmann as a philosopher
- Chapter:
- (p.170) 10 Boltzmann as a philosopher
- Source:
- Ludwig Boltzmann
- Author(s):
CARLO CERCIGNANI
- Publisher:
- Oxford University Press
In the last few years of his life, Ludwig Boltzmann devoted a significant part of his time to the philosophical aspects of science and, more generally, of knowledge. Professional philosophers may find Boltzmann's ideas somewhat naive, but this is not the case. It is true that Boltzmann is a realist, but not a naive realist. Boltzmann's vision of the world is the picture that every physicist has in mind when investigating his problems, even when he does not admit it. In addition, Boltzmann originated ideas about scientific revolutions, later spread by and attributed to Thomas Samuel Kuhn. According to Boltzmann, the central point of philosophy is the problem of the relationship between existence and knowledge, gnoseology (a term usually rendered as epistemology in the English translation). This chapter looks at Boltzmann's views on philosophy, including subjects ranging from ethics and aesthetics to religion and scientific revolutions, and whether he abandoned realism.
Keywords: knowledge, philosophy, realism, scientific revolutions, gnoseology, aesthetics
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- Title Pages
- To my daughter Anna, who helped me through Boltzmann’s dense German
- FOREWORD
- PREFACE
- FIGURE ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
- Introduction
- 1 A short biography of Ludwig Boltzmann
- 2 Physics before Boltzmann
- 3 Kinetic theory before Boltzmann
- 4 The Boltzmann equation
- 5 Time irreversibility and the H-theorem
- 6 Boltzmann’s relation and the statistical interpretation of entropy
- 7 Boltzmann, Gibbs, and equilibrium statistical mechanics
- 8 The problem of polyatomic molecules
- 9 Boltzmann’s contributions to other branches of physics
- 10 Boltzmann as a philosopher
- 11 Boltzmann and his contemporaries
- 12 The influence of Boltzmann’s ideas on the science and technology of the twentieth century
- EPILOGUE
- CHRONOLOGY
- “A German professor’s journey into Eldorado”*
- Appendix 3.1 Calculation of pressure in a rarefied gas
- Appendix 4.1 The Liouville equation
- Appendix 4.2 Calculation of the effect of collisions of one particle with another
- Appendix 4.3 The BBGKY hierarchy
- Appendix 4.4 The Boltzmann hierarchy and its relation to the Boltzmann equation
- Appendix 4.5 The Boltzmann equation in the homogeneous isotropic case
- Appendix 5.1 Collision-invariants
- Appendix 5.2 Boltzmann’s inequality and the Maxwellian distribution
- Appendix 5.3 The H-theorem
- Appendix 5.4 The hourglass model
- Appendix 6.1 Likelihood of a distribution
- Appendix 7.1 The canonical distribution for equilibrium states
- Appendix 8.1 The H-theorem for classical polyatomic molecules
- Appendix 8.2 The equipartition problem
- Appendix 9.1 The Stefan–Boltzmann law
- Appendix 9.2 Wien’s law
- Chapter 1
- Chapter 2
- Chapter 3
- Chapter 4
- Chapter 5
- Chapter 6
- Chapter 7
- Chapter 8
- Chapter 9
- Chapter 10
- Chapter 11
- Chapter 12
- Epilogue
- Index