On Photographs and Phonographs: New Techniques of Recording and their Influence on Mach’s Conception of Knowledge

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Plaud, Sabine
conference paper description
I examine some aspects of Mach’s concern for photographs and phonographs. I start with the phonographs, and I examine in particular Mach’s reference to this device in his account of the development of written language. My second point is a comparison between Mach's reference to phonographs and hieroglyphs and some very similar insights in Wittgenstein’s Tractatus. Lastly, I address some aspects of Mach’s interest in photographical techniques, and I try to draw a parallel between Mach’s conception of mental economical pictures and the method of composite portraiture developed by Galton.