2 0 6 D O C U M E N T 7 3 J U L Y 1 9 2 0
Society in Halle, which I went to at Vaihinger’s and Kraus’s
The phi-
losophers there were not even clear about the theory’s experimental
thermore, Mr. Riese mentioned to me that you would surely be inclined to debate
with relativity theorists interested in philosophy. In addition, the young Dr.
from Prague has come over here. He has a vibrant interest in the mat-
ter, given the opportunity. Finally, I think that we should seek to have epistemolog-
ical articles accepted on an equal footing in the Zeitschrift für Physik (with
particular caution and strict censorship). I have already spoken with Privy Council-
concerning this point; he would also like to get in touch with you about
it after your return.
How essential all of this is emerges, for inst., from Helge
paper, with
which you are probably already familiar. It wishes to reduce the th. of rel. to the
level of a calculation aid, and similar endeavors came to light in Halle. I took up
the opposition. Aside from the article about Holst, which I am enclosing herewith,
another more comprehensive one on Holst’s work is going to appear in the Kant
Even though I cannot agree with you on the issue of the world’s
will see, nonetheless, that I still conform in all essentials with relativity theory. I
just expressed this again in no uncertain terms in the new edition of Mach’s
Full clarity on all these problems will only be possible, however, if
physicists and philosophers discuss them together. Mr. von Laue, and oth., will cer-
tainly be willing as
Thus if you would be inclined to suggest such a meet-
ing in a few weeks (I expect to be away until the beginning of August), you would
be doing a very good deed.
With cordial greetings, yours very truly,
J. Petzoldt.
73. From German League for the League of Nations
Berlin [3/8?], 7 Unter den Linden, 8 July 1920
Esteemed Professor,
After long hesitation, we decided to bother impose on your precious time with
the following request: In close consultation with Dr. Elisabeth
we arrived
at the conviction that there is a pressing need to lay before the German public the
plight of German science, what help has been given until now, and what can still be
This could best happen with an article in our newsletter, News from the
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