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Análisis filosófico

versión On-line ISSN 1851-9636


GOMEZ, Ricardo J.. La polémica Mach-Planck: ¿ni vencedores ni vencidos?. Anal. filos. [online]. 2004, vol.24, n.1, pp. 5-27. ISSN 1851-9636.

The Mach-Planck controversy (1910-1911) about the cognitive status of scientific theories lead us to the following conclusions. (1) Not always the one who maintains some theses that look better (Planck's defense of the reality of the atoms) is the one who advanced the best arguments for criticizing his opponent (e.g. Planck misinterpreted Mach's views about the scientific image, its concepts and laws). (2) Their views were grounded in different philosophies, and consequently, in different valuesystems. (3) There was no absolute winner-loser; each one might look like a winnerloser depending upon de historical and scientific context relative to which the choice is being made. (4) There is no algorithm and definitive argument for declaring a final winner-loser. (5) Standard philosophical dichotomies like realism vs. instrumentalism are insufficient for grasping the complexity of the epistemological and ontological positions of scientists. Finally, the controversy emphasizes the decisive role played by philosophy in the theoretical issues of physics.

Palabras clave : Mach; Planck; Scientific image; Physics; Realism.

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