Abstract
While Minkowski delivered his famous paper on the topic in 1908 (Minkowski 1908), Melchior Palágyi, a Hungarian mathematician, ‘man of letters’ and philosopher from the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy had proposed to introduce this concept into physics in 1901, that is, seven years before Minkowski’s paper. Minkowski arrives at the idea of the four-dimensional space-time by mathematical calculation based on the mathematical properties of Lorentz transformation. Palágyi, by contrast, introduces space-time on the basis of philosophical-hermeneutical considerations. According to him a mathematical model in itself, no matter how successful, is only human construction, the epistemological and ontological value and meaning of which can be revealed only by philosophical reflection. In this way his philosophy of space-time developed in his work entitled A New Theory of Space-Time and published in 1901 has a hermeneutic role: it serves as the hermeneutic framework for the investigations of the epistemological and ontological meaning of the mathematical space-time of physics
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