Marco Giovannelli

A matter of principles. Ernst Cassirer's reading of the theory of relativity as a principle theory

Considerable attention—partially raised by the so-called ‘neo-Lorentzian interpretations’ of SR (Brown, 2005)—has been drawn recently to Einstein’s distinction between principle and constructive theories. Janssen (Janssen, 2000) regards Einstein’s principle-strategy as a ‘physics of desperation’: failing to find constructive models, one might resort to principles that put constraints on possible models (Janssen and Renn, 2007).