MACH, ERNST (1838–), Austrian physicist and psychologist, was born on the 18th of February 1838 at Turas in Moravia, and studied at Vienna. He was professor of mathematics at Gratz (1864–1867), of physics at Prague (1867–1895), and of physics at Vienna (1895–1901). In 1879 and 1880 as Rector Magnificus he fought against the introduction of Czech instead of German in the Prague University. In 1901 he was made a member of the Austrian house of peers. In philosophy he began with a strong predilection for the physical side of psychology, and at an early age he came to the conclusion that all existence is sensation, and, after a lapse into noümenalism under the influence of Fechner’s Psychophysics, finally adopted a universal physical phenomenalism. The Ego he considers not an entity sharply distinguished from the Non-ego, but merely, as it were, a medium of continuity of sensory impressions. His whole theory appears to be vitiated by the confusion of physics and psychology.
Works.—Kompendium der Physik für Mediziner (Vienna, 1863); Einleitung in die Heimholtz’sche Musiktheorie (Gratz, 1866); Die Gesch. u. d. Wurzel d. Satzes von d. Erhaltung d. Arbeit (Prague, 1872); Grundlinien d. Lehre v. d. Bewegungsempfindungen (Leipzig, 1875); Die Mechanik in ihrer Entwickelung (Leipzig, 1883; rev. ed., 1908; Eng. trans., T. J. McCormack, 1902); Beiträge zur Analyse d. Empfindungen (Jena, 1886), 5th ed., 1906, entitled Die Analyse d. Empfindungen; Leitfaden d. Physik für Studierende (Prague, 1881, in collaboration); Populärwissenschaftliche Vorlesungen (3rd ed., Leipzig, 1903); Die Prinzipien d. Wärmelehre (2nd ed., 1900); Erkenntnis und Irrtum (Leipzig, 1905).