Beitrag zur Untersuchung der Postulate der Speziellen Relativitätstheorie von Albert Einstein
An immanent—critical methodology for scientifically testing existing theories is presented and applied to the postulates of Albert Einstein ’s Special Theory of Relativity as far as it concerns the consistency of the concepts originally introduced by Einstein himself. The analysis of these postulates leads to two problems: 1. the application of the original Relativity -Postulate to the empirical fact of the constancy of the (vacuum) velocity of light relative to a certain inertial system does not, as Einstein claims, always give rise to the same value when measuring the (vacuum) velocity of light from several inertial systems 2. the units of velocity in two inertial systems have to be equal to each other when the relative velocity of these systems to each other is measured, whereas they have to be unequal to each other when the (vacuum) velocity of light (of the same beam) is measured. The first problem is not solvable with a modification of the original Relativity-Postulate, but only with an extra (for Einstein implicit) Postulate: when measuring the (vacuum) velocity of a ray of light from different inertial systems the numerical value must always be the same. The second problem is only solvable with an additional Interaction-Postulate. ln theory this results in the units of velocity in both cases being different. But this implies a hypothesis which is in principle unverifiable (and unfalsifiable) thus contradicting the basic presupposition that the Theory of Relativity is an empirical theory. On the basis of this analysis, Einstein’s approach to knowledge (as far as it concerns these postulates) is briefly characterised and we present an immanent solution to the contradictions by eliminating the extra postulate (thereby rendering the Interaction-Postulate superfluous), notwithstanding the fact that Einstein needed only some of the consequences of the extra postulate.