D O C . 1 4 9 R E V I E W W I N T E R N I T Z 1 4 5
depend—that we arrive at a not merely registering, descriptive, and classificatory
science of Nature.” “‘A priori’ means … that one should recognize these principles
by their indispensability in the principle of cognition …” “There follows the asser-
tion that we can indicate at least one such principle, namely, the law of
Winternitz asserts along with Kant that science is a thought construct based on
a priori principles. That this structure of our science rests and must rest on princi-
ples that do not themselves originate from experience will surely be acknowledged
without a doubt. For me, doubts only begin to arise when the dignity of those prin-
ciples, that is, their indispensability is being questioned. Are those principles at
least in part composed in such a way that science is incompatible with their muta-
bility, or are they altogether mere conventions, such as the ordering principle for
words in a lexicon? Winternitz is inclined to the former conception; I, to the latter.
W.’s notions of space and motion seem to me very appropriate.
In praiseworthy succinctness of expression, the author succeeded in shedding
light on the topic from all sides on 230 pages, as the following table of contents
I. Introductory remarks on the tasks, methods, and limits of scientific
knowledge. II. The meaning of the relativity of space and time. III. Absolute space
in physics. IV. The fundamental idea of Einstein’s special theory. V. The four-
dimensional world. VI. Temporal order and causal connections. VII. Geometry and
observation. VIII. Geometry as a physical hypothesis. IX. General relativity and
gravitation. X. Time, space, and causality in the general theory. XI. Relativity the-
ory in the controversy among schools of thought.
Berlin. Albert Einstein.