Ludwig Boltzmann: His Later Life and Philosophy, 1900-1906
After his failure to replace metaphysics by a linguistic approach, Ludwig Boltzmann came to identify the philosophy of science with methodology which, in turn, he considered to be part of science itself, and thus not part of philosophy at all. His definition of philosophy as metaphysics meant that, from his point of view, all philosophers were metaphysicians, himself included.
Boltzmann the philosopher was advised on the improvement of his Weltanschauung by Franz Brentano; to such effect that, by the summer of 1905, Boltzmann appeared to be close to a form of critical realism. However, the stronger this realism became, the more inconsistent it seemed to be with his `Mach plus pictures' methodology of science. During this period, he planned to write a book, first on metaphysics and then later on what he called `A priori probability' and what he considered to be its shortcomings. Apparently, the book was never completed.
All know Boltzmann the great physicist. Much less widely known is that he was an original philosopher: one who had a great impact on early 20th Century Viennese philosophy, beginning with Wittgenstein and the Vienna Circle and extending even to Popper and Feyerabend. Blackmore's delving into Boltzmann's correspondence, coupled with his unparalleled knowledge of Boltzmann's final years, allows him to present Boltzmann in an entirely new light to readers in the English language.
For physicists, philosophers and historians.