xi should hope for "first and foremost" from any historical investigation, including his own, was that "it may not be too tedious. " II That hope is generally realized in Mach's historical writings, most of which are as lively and interesting now as they were when they appeared. Mach did not follow any existing model of historical or philosophical or scientific exposition, but went at things his own way combining the various approaches as needed to reach the goals he set for himself. When he is at his best we get a sense of the Mach whom William James met on a visit to Prague, the Mach whose four hours of "unforgettable conversation" gave the forty year old, well traveled James the strongest "impression of pure intellectual genius" he had yet received, and whose "absolute simplicity of manner and winningness of smile" captivated him completely. 12 Consider, for example, the first few chapters of this book, Principles of the Theory of Heat, which Mach devotes to the notion of temperature, that most fundamental of all thermal concepts. He begins by trying to trace the path that leads from our sensations of hot and cold to a numerical temperature scale.
Author's Preface to the First Edition.- Author's Preface to the Second Edition (Excerpt).- I. Historical Survey of the Development of Thermometry.- II. Critical Discussion of the Conception of Temperature.- III. On the Determination of High Temperatures.- IV. Names and Numbers.- V. The Continuum.- VI. Historical Survey of the Theory of Conduction of Heat.- VII. The Development of the Theory of Conduction of Heat.- VIII. Historical Survey of the Theory of Radiation of Heat.- IX. Review of the Development of the Theory of Radiation of Heat.- X. Historical Survey of the Development of Calorimetry.- XI. Criticism of Calorimetric Conceptions.- XII. The Calorimetric Properties of Gases.- XIII. The Development of Thermodynamics. Carnot's Principle.- XIV. The Development of Thermodynamics. The Principle of Mayer and Joule. The Principle of Energy.- XV. The Development of Thermodynamics. Unifying the Principles.- XVI. Concise Development of the Laws of Thermodynamics.- XVII. The Absolute (Thermodynamic) Scale of Temperature.- XVIII. Critical Review of the Development of Thermodynamics. The Sources of the Principle of Energy.- XIX. Extension of the Theorem of Carnot and Clausius. The Conformity and the Differences of Energies. The Limits of the Principle of Energy.- XX. The Borderland between Physics and Chemistry.- XXI. The Relation of Physical and Chemical Processes.- XXII. The Opposition between Mechanical and Phenomenological Physics.- XXIII. The Evolution of Science.- XXIV. The Sense of the Marvellous.- XXV. Transformation and Adaptation in Scientific Thought.- XXVI. The Economy of Science.- XXVII. Comparison as a Scientific Principle.- XXVIII. Language.- XXIX. The Concept.- XXX. The Concept of Substance.- XXXI. Causality and Explanation.- XXXII. Revision of Scientific Views Caused by Chance Circumstances.- XXXIII. The Paths of Investigation.- XXXIV. The Aim of Investigation.- Notes.- Index of Names.- Index of Subjects.