On April 12, 2023, the 5th c:o/re lecture series started off. After c:o/re director Gabriele Gramelsberger welcomed attendees and introduced the speaker, Professor Giora Hon delivered his talk, From Reciprocity of Formulation to Symbolic Language: A Source of Complexity in Scientific Knowledge
Professor Hon introduced his notion of epistemic complexity, which refers to what may be considered simple, rather than complex. The talk was directed at clarifying the oxymoron “the simple is complex”. Professor Hon does so in light of three developments in the history of physics:
- the analogy between heat and electricity, following William Thomson
- the reciprocity of text and symbolic formulation, following James C. Maxwell
- liberating symbolic formulation from theory, following Heinrich Hertz
Professor Hon argued that, following this trajectory of ideas in history of physics, in Hertz the complete separation of formal theory and equations can be observed.