In summer 1923, a year after his lectures on the `New Foundation of Mathematics' and half a year before the republication of his two notes on the `Foundations of Physics,' Hilbert delivered a trilogy of lectures in Hamburg. In these lectures, Hilbert expounds in an unusually explicit manner his epistemological perspective on science as a subdiscipline of an all embracing science of mathematics. The starting point of Hilbert's considerations is the claim that the class of gravitational and electromagnetic field equations implied by his original variational formulation of 1915 provides valid candidate `world equations,' even in view of attempts at unified field theories á la Weyl and Eddington based on the concept of the affine connection. We give a discussion of Hilbert's lectures and, in particular, examine his claim that Einstein in his 1923 papers on affine unified field theory only arrived at Hilbert's original 1915 theory. We also briefly comment on Hilbert's philosophical viewpoints expressed in these lectures.
The Universe of General Relativity
- Pub Date:
- Unified Field Theory;
- Physics - History and Philosophy of Physics;
- General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology
- 23 pages