1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Mach, Ernst
|←MacGregor, John|| 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 17
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MACH, ERNST (1838- ), Austrian physicist and psychologist, was born on the 18th of February 1838 at Turas in Moravia, and studied at Vienna. He was professor of mathematics at Gratz (1864-1867), of physics at Prague (1867-1895), and of physics at Vienna (1895-1901). In 1879 and 1880 as Rector Magnificus he fought against the introduction of Czech instead of German in the Prague University. In 1901 he was made a member of the Austrian house of peers. In philosophy he began with a strong predilection for the physical side of psychology, and at an early age he came to the conclusion that all existence is sensation, and, after a lapse into noümenalism under the influence of Fechner's Psychophysics, finally adopted a universal physical phenomenalism. The Ego he considers not an entity sharply distinguished from the Non-ego, but merely, as it were, a medium of continuity of sensory impressions. His whole theory appears to be vitiated by the confusion of physics and psychology.
Works. — Kompendium der Physik fur Mediziner (Vienna, 1863); Einleitung in die Helmholtz'sche Musiktheorie (Gratz, 1866); Die Gesch. u. d. Wurzel d. Satzes von d. Erhaltung d. Arbeit (Prague, 1872); Grundlinien d. Lehre v. d. Bewegungsempfindungen (Leipzig, 1875); Die Mechanik in ihrer Entwickelung (Leipzig, 1883; rev. ed., 1908; Eng. trans., T. J. McCormack, 1902); Beiträge zur Analyse d. Empfindungen (Jena, 1886), 5th ed., 1906, entitled Die Analyse d. Empfindungen; Leitfaden d. Physik für Studierende (Prague, 1881, in collaboration); Populärwissenschaftliche Vorlesungen (3rd ed., Leipzig, 1903); Die Prinzipien d. Wärmelehre (2nd ed., 1900); Erkenntnis und Irrtum (Leipzig, 1905).