Hermann von Helmholtz

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(in German unless noted otherwise)

  • Die Lehre von den Tonempfindungen als physiologische Grundlage für die Theorie der Musik, Braunschweig: Vieweg, 1863, MPIWG; 3th ed., 1870, MPIWG; 4th ed., 1877, IA; Frankfurt/Main: Minerva, 1981.
    • Théorie physiologique de la musique, fondée sur l'étude des sensations auditives, trans. Georges Guéroult, Paris: Victor Masson, 1868, IA, IA; 2nd ed., 1874. (French)
    • On the Sensations of Tone as a Physiological Basis for the Theory of Music, trans. & notes Alexander J. Ellis (of 3rd German ed.), 1875, IA; 2nd ed., rev., 1885, IA; 3rd ed., London and New York: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1895, IA, IA, IA; 4th ed., 1912, IA. (English)
Selected works
  • Science and Culture: Popular and Philosophical Essays, ed. & intro. David Cahan, University Of Chicago Press, 1995, 418 pp, PDF.


  • Leo Koenigsberger, Hermann von Helmholtz, 3 vols., Braunschweig: Olms, 1902, IA; Hildesheim: Olms-Weidmann, 2003. (German)
    • Hermann von Helmholtz, trans. Frances A. Welby, intro. Lord Kelvin, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1906, IA.
  • David Cahan, Hermann von Helmholtz and the Foundations of Nineteenth-Century Science, University of California Press, 1994, CHM.
  • Gregor Schiemann, Hermann von Helmholtz’ Mechanismus im Anbruch der Moderne. Eine Studie zum Übergang von klassischer zu moderner Naturphilosophie, Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1997. (German)
    • Hermann von Helmholtz's Mechanism: The Loss of Certainty: A Study on the Transition from Classical to Modern Philosophy of Nature, trans. Cynthia Klohr, Springer, 2009, 284 pp, PDF. Review.
  • Michel Meulders, Helmholtz: Des lumières aux neurosciences, Paris: Odile Jacob, 2001. (French)
    • Helmholtz: From Enlightenment to Neuroscience, trans. & ed. Laurence Garey, MIT Press, 2010, 235 pp, Log.
  • Benjamin Steege, Helmholtz and the Modern Listener, Cambridge University Press, 2012, PDF.
  • Erwin Hiebert, The Helmholtz Legacy in Physiological Acoustics, Springer, 2014, PDF.
  • Writings on Helmholtz in Internet Archive
  • Timothy Lenoir, "The Eye as Mathematician: Clinical Practice, Instrumentation, and Helmholtz's Construction of an Empiricist Theory of Vision", in Hermann von Helmholtz and the Foundations of Nineteenth-Century Science, ed. David Cahan, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993, pp 109-153, PDF.
  • Timothy Lenoir, "Helmholtz and the Materialities of Communication", in Osiris 9 (1994), eds. Thomas P. Hankins and Albert van Helden, pp 184-207, PDF.
  • Timothy Lenoir, "Operationalizing Kant. Manifolds, Models, and Math in Helmholtz's Theories of Perception", in The Kantian Legacy in Nineteenth-Century Science, eds. Michael Friedman and Alfred Nordmann, 2006, pp 141-210, PDF.
  • Julia Kursell, "Sound Objects", in Sounds of Science – Schall im Labor, 1800–1930, ed. Kursell, Berlin: Max-Planck Institute for the History of Science, 2008, pp 29-38, PDF.
  • Gregor Schiemann, "Experimental Knowledge and the Theory of Producing it: Hermann von Helmholtz", in Generating Experimental Knowledge, Berlin: Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, 2008, pp 109-120, PDF.
  • Lydia Patton, "Hermann von Helmholtz", Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2008f, HTML.