Pierre Duhem

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Pierre Duhem

Pierre Maurice Marie Duhem (born June 10, 1861 in Paris , † September 14, 1916 in Cabrespine , France ) was a French physicist and scientific theorist / historian and a representative of instrumentalism .

Live and act

Duhem studied at the École normal supérieure . He taught theoretical physics at the universities of Lille (1887-1893), Rennes (1893/4) and Bordeaux ( 1894-1916 ).

Pierre Duhem was one of the founders of physical chemistry , a historian of science and a philosopher of science . Duhem, who was strongly influenced in his theoretical drafts by Mach's principle of " thought economy ", was the first to demonstrate beyond his physical and scientific theoretical work ("goal and structure of physical theories") that the beginnings of modern science by no means with the beginning of the Renaissance , but that decisive decisions and insights for the following centuries were already made and existed in the Middle Ages . The works on Nicholas of Oresme can be named as an example. Today's Medieval Studies have partially adopted these theses, but modified them through new source research.

In 1900 Pierre Duhem became a corresponding member of the French Academy of Sciences . Duhem's scientific theses also corresponded to very conservative political and religious views. In the philosophy of science he is best known for the Duhem-Quine thesis . His work on medieval nature research was critically continued by Anneliese Maier .

See also


Primary texts

  • Les théories électriques de J. Clerk Maxwell , Paris: Hermann 1900.
  • The changes in mechanics and the mechanical explanation of nature , Leipzig: JA Barth, 1912, trans. by P. Frank v. L'évolution de la mécanique, Paris, A. 1903 (French : L'évolution de la mécanique , Paris 1902)
  • Les origines de la statique , 2 volumes, Paris 1905, 1906
  • Sozein ta phainomena. Essai on the theory of physique de Plato à Galilée. Paris 1908; 2nd edition under the title Sauver les apparences. Essai on the theory of physique de Plato à Galilée . Vrin, Paris 2003
  • Études sur Leonard de Vinci, ceux qu´il a lus et ceux qui l´ont lu , 3 volumes, Paris 1906 to 1913
  • Objective and structure of the physical theories. Edited by Lothar Schäfer. Meiner, Hamburg 1998. ISBN 978-3-7873-1457-7 , transl. La théorie physique, son objet, sa structure (1906)
  • Notice sur les titres et travaux scientifiques . Gounouilhon, Bordeaux 1913 ( digitized version )
  • Le système du monde, histoire des doctrines cosmologiques de Platon à Copernic , 10 volumes, Paris: Hermann 1913 to 1959

Secondary texts

  • Ariew, Roger / Barker, Peter (eds.): Pierre Duhem: Historian and Philosopher of Science , Synthesis 83/2 + 3 (1990)
  • Brenner, Anastasios (ed.): Pierre Duhem , Revue Internationale de Philosophie 46 (1992)
  • Brenner Duhem, science, réalité et apparence: la relation entre philosophie et histoire dans l'œuvre de Pierre Duhem , Paris 1990
  • Harding, Sandra G. (Ed.): Can Theories be Refuted? Essays on the Duhem-Quine Thesis , Dordrecht, Reidel 1976
  • Klaus Hentschel : "The Duhem- Mach correspondence : On the` model- ladenness ' of the history of science ", Annals of Science 45 [1988], 73–91.
  • Émile Picard : Le vie et l'œuvre de Pierre Duhem , Paris 1921
  • Hélène Pierre-Duhem: Un savant français: Pierre Duhem , Paris 1936
  • Paul Brouzeng: Duhem. Science et providence , Paris 1987
  • Stanley Jaki: Uneasy Genius The Life and Work of Pierre Duhem, Springer 1987
  • Karl-Eugen Kurrer : The History of the Theory of Structures. Searching for Equilibrium . Ernst & Sohn , Berlin 2018, pp. 5, 376, 384 and. 990 (biography), ISBN 978-3-433-03229-9 .

Web links

Commons : Pierre Duhem  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. See Klaus Hentschel (1988) on mutual influences, parallels and their correspondence.
  2. ^ List of members since 1666: Letter D. Académie des sciences, accessed on November 9, 2019 (French).