Ernst Mach
Ernst MachXlink.png (1838—1916) was an Austrian-Czech physicist and philosopher. Mach held that scientific laws are summaries of experimental observations, constructed for the purpose of human comprehension of complex data. He influenced Albert Einstein'sXlink.png development of relativity. Here is an unusual self-portrait from a good teacher, and a few favorite quotes.
Figure one from //The Analysis of Sensations// by E Mach, 1897.
Figure one from The Analysis of Sensations by E Mach, 1897.

"… I lie upon my sofa. If I close my right eye, the picture represented in the accompanying cut is presented to my left eye. In a frame formed by the ridge of my eyebrow, by my nose, and by my moustache, appears a part of my body, so far as visible, with its environment."1

"Colors, sounds, temperatures, pressures, spaces, times and so forth, are connected with one another in manifold ways; and with them are associated dispositions of mind, feelings, and volitions. Out of this fabric, that which is relatively more fixed and permanent stands prominently forth, engraves itself on the memory, and expresses itself in language."2

So Mach identifies a pathway to knowlege as the analysis of sensation using language. He honestly shows that he himself is part of the issue. And then he advertises danger.

"The useful habit of designating such relatively permanent compounds by single names, and of apprehending them by single thoughts, without going to the trouble each time of an analysis of their component parts, is apt to come into strange conflict with the tendency to isolate the component parts."3

Here is a link to the most recent version of this content, including the full text.

favicon.jpeg Ernst Mach
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