GENERAL REFLECTIONS ON THE EINSTEIN THEORY
For, beyond the bounds of science, too, objective and relative reflection is a gain, a release from prejudice, a liberation of the spirit from standards whose claim to absolute validity melts away before the critical judgment of the relativist. (45) max born
It is extremely instructive to follow the elements of identification as they appear in the evolution of the Einstein theory.
We know that the results of the Michelson experiment which disclosed that light is propagated in all directions with equal velocities for all observers, irrespective of their relative velocities, could not be reconciled with the older mechanics. These results disturbed the physicists profoundly and attempts were made to solve this apparent impasse. In what follows we shall have to analyse incidentally the activities of some of our great scientists, men who have added enormously to our knowledge, and this fact should be appreciated. What we have to say is not intended as criticism - far from it - but simply as a structural and a semantic analysis.
The feeling that we objectify unduly and that we should not use a language of 'is' of identity, but that we should use an actional, behaviouristic, functional, operational language and methods, is not new in science, although the need was not formulated structurally, it is true, and therefore it never became a workable foundation. The main successes in these fields were rather accidental, and were the personal prerogatives of those few men whose psycho-logical make-up urged them to achieve. Objectification, which as we know, is a semantic ascribing of objective existence and values to terms, was bound to make its appearance somewhere.
This struggle against identification is apparent in all science, but it will suffice to point out the most striking example in the relation of the works of Lorentz and Einstein. Lorentz objectified, Einstein did not. We here come across a tremendous semantic fact which has to do with the interpretation of mathematical formulae. Lorentz on elaborate and difficult grounds, connected with Maxwell's field equations, produced what is usually called the Lorentz transformation. He gave it an objectified interpretation. Einstein introduced an entirely different fundamental interpretation of the structural principle involved. The formulae look alike but they now have different and very simple meanings.
Hertz, whose epoch-making discoveries made wireless possible, advocated long ago what is termed the phenomenological point of view, which in our language is approximately the actional, behaviouristic, operational, functional language and method. In his writings he implicitly refused to use the vicious