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Which first principle exactly? Because they were already stating that the speed of light would be constant in all frames which is the only thing necessary to derive special relativity. Lorentz derived the transformations precisely to describe this fact!

Certainly not the lack of the aether; while it isn't necessary to describe relativity it isn't precluded either and cosmic time is a thing today. The spacetime we live in is a thing describable in its own right, on large scales it has a preferred time direction.

He was responsible for spreading those ideas, but he certainly wasn't the first one to express them. It is still respectful to give him credit for the spread of these ideas, but we don't need to pretend like Lorentz and Poincare were blind men fumbling around in the dark until he came along in order to justify our reverence.




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