Ernst Mach (1838-1916)

  • Mach and Fechner

    Although he was aware of Fechner's ideas about experimental physiology prior to Fechner's " Elemente der Psychophysik" publishing, his influence on Mach's work how we perceive reality through senses, can't be overstated. Fechner managed to "quantify" levels of sensations, or define mathematical relationship between reality and what we sense. That induced Mach to further his experiments and studies about human interaction with environment.
  • Analysis of Sensation

    Mach wrote Analysis of Sensation, the book in which he summarized his work on sensation and human perception of reality. Perception is perceived relation between stimuli and it drives evolution, but also scientific process. Constant things that are less stimulating, variable senses in intensity or contrast drive organ evolution, as the organism is trying to place them in equilibrium. We perceive reality through those changes.
  • The Science of Mechanics

    One of the most influential books in Science. Einstein, and Planck were deeply affected. In it, Mach is placing his Logistical Positivists view of reality, contradiction between Newton's absolute space/time and relative one. Describes difference between physiological space (cognitive, influenced by sensory input, unconscious adaptation) and geometrical space (intellectual construct, abstractive).
  • Mach and Planck

    Due to his view on human interaction with reality through senses (bio-psychological view of science), he was ardent opposer of Atomic theory. Correspondence between Planck and Mach occurred at this time. As yet theory was unproven, he opposed to its theoretical, intellectual structure, Planck placed criticism of such view. In root, it was about liberating science of human subjectivity in science, human independent vs. human dependent.