phenomenon ceases?—(Maxwell's epistemological treatises are found in the second volume of his Scientific Papers.)
Ernst Mach (born 1838, professor at Vienna) was led to the problems of epistemology by the study of the history of natural science. The following are his chief works: Die Mechanik in ihrer Entwickelung (4th ed., 1901), Die Analyse der Empfindungen (4th ed., 1903), Erkenntniss und Irrtum (1905).
Mach made an attempt early in life to discover a point of view which he would not be obliged to surrender when passing from the subject of physics to that of psychology. He found such a viewpoint in the priority of sensation to all concepts of atoms and souls. The concepts, formulated by scientific thought, are conditioned by the necessity of an adaptation to the given. Thought—both in its syntheses as well as in its analyses—is a case of biological adaptation. Because of the fact then that quantitative arrangements are simpler and more comprehensive than qualitative arrangements, and because they simplify the view of large groups of experiences, we apply them wherever possible, and to this end such concepts as energy, mass and atom are formulated; concepts, therefore, which have no metaphysical significance. The entire mechanical explanation of nature rests upon a sublime analogy between the movements of masses in space and the qualitative changes of things (in temperature, electrical conditions, etc.). But we have no right to construe the universe as a pure mechanism. The immediately given consists of nothing more than complexes of sensation, which physics, by the help of its fruitful analogies, interprets as movements.
2. Richard Avenarius (1843-1896), a professor at Zürich, was prepared for his later theories by his studies of
- Died 1916 (Wikisource contributor note)