Open Access

The Genesis of General Relativity: Interaction between Einstein’s, Abraham’s and Nordström’s Research Programmes


The arguments are exhibited in favour of the necessity to modify the history of the genesis and advancement of general relativity (GR). I demonstrate that the dynamic creation of GR had been continually governed by internal tensions between two research traditions, that of special relativity and Newton’s gravity. The encounter of the traditions and their interpenetration entailed construction of the hybrid domain at first with an irregular set of theoretical models. Step by step, on eliminating the contradictions between the models contrived, the hybrid set was put into order. It is contended that the main reason of the GR victory over the rival programmes of Abraham and Nordström was a synthetic character of Einstein’s programme. Einstein had put forward as a basic synthetic principle the principle of equivalence that radically differed from that of rival approaches by its open, flexible and contra-ontological character.

Publication timeframe:
3 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Philosophy, Metaphysics, Ontology, Epistemology, Philosophy of Science