LAJOS JÁNOSSY’S REFORMULATION OF RELATIVITY THEORY IN THE CONTEXTS OF „DIALECTICAL MATERIALISM” AND TRADITIONAL SCIENTIFIC RATIONALISM
KeywordsB1 Philosophy (General) / filozófia általában
BA Epistemology / ismeretelmélet
QC Physics / fizika
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AbstractThe late Hungarian physicist Lajos Jánossy is respected in international physics first of all for his results achieved in the field of cosmic radiations, but his work in the alternative, Lorentzian tradition of relativity theory is also of historical importance. As an adopted son of the Hungarian Marxist philosopher, Georg Lukács, he was socialised in a left-wing spirit. He formulated a philosophical criticism of Einstein’s theory in terms of dialectical materialism in the 1950s and 1960s. In contrast to the new Soviet thesis valid in Soviet ideology from 1955, he insisted that the positivist, Machian epistemological foundation determinatively influenced the physical level of Einstein’s relativity theory and distorted its real physical meaning. He also rejected the anti-commonsense character of Einstein’s new concepts of space and time and argued for the necessity of a commonsense-conform physics. However, in contrast to the Soviet critics of relativity theory of the Stalinist period, Jánossy never used ideology to destroy the scientific authenticity of Einstein’s theory, but, accepting the Einsteinian-Lorentzian mathematics as one of the great achievements of the history of physics, he announced and successfully implemented a positive program of a commonsense-conform, non-positivist, Lorentz-based reformulation of the theory. The socialcultural background of Jánossy’s reformulation of relativity theory is characterised by the strain of two contradictory elements: on the one hand, his left wing, Marxist commitment,on the other, his socialization in Western, “bourgeois” science and culture. Through a Marxist, “dialectical materialist” criticism of the positivist, Machian aspects of Einstein’s theory as well as through his work for a commonsense–conform physics, Jánossy defended not only Marxism but also the classical tradition of scientific rationalism as an essential element of European culture.
Székely, László (2013) LAJOS JÁNOSSY’S REFORMULATION OF RELATIVITY THEORY IN THE CONTEXTS OF „DIALECTICAL MATERIALISM” AND TRADITIONAL SCIENTIFIC RATIONALISM. In: Jahrbuch für Europäische Wissenschaftskultur / Yearbook for European Culture of Science. Jahrbuch für Europäische Wissenschaftskultur / Yearbook for European Culture of Science, 6 . Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart, pp. 253-270.