the electric theories of j clerk maxwell a historical and critical study boston studies in the philosophy and history of science

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The Electric Theories Of J Clerk Maxwell

Author : Pierre Maurice Marie Duhem
ISBN : 9783319185156
Genre : Science
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In this volume Pierre Duhem first gives an overview of 19th century electricity and magnetism. Next, he applies his keen historical, philosophical, and physical intuition to critiquing Maxwell’s theories, especially his electromagnetic theory of light and the ad hoc introduction of displacement current, which he considers too much a product of the “esprit de géométrie” than the “esprit de finesse,” as Pascal calls it. In this book, Duhem is guided by the principle that a theory that offers contradictions, even if the theory is posed by a genius, needs to be analysed and discussed until a clear distinction can be made between the propositions likely to be logically demonstrated and statements that offend logic and which must be transformed or rejected. Furthermore, Duhem felt, in criticizing such a theory one must guard against narrowness of mind and petty corrections which would make one forget the merit of the inventor; and, more importantly, one must guard against the blind superstition which, for admiration of the author, would hide the serious defects of the work. He is not so great a genius that he surpasses the laws of reason. Pierre Duhem (1861-1916), chairman of theoretical physics at Bordeaux in 1984-1916, is well-known for his works in the history and philosophy of science.

Boston Studies In The Philosophy Of Science

Author : Babette E. Babich
ISBN : UCLA:L0083327924
Genre : Hermeneutics
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The Aristotelian Mechanics

Author : Joyce van Leeuwen
ISBN : 9783319259253
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 44. 50 MB
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This book examines the transmission processes of the Aristotelian Mechanics. It does so to enable readers to appreciate the value of the treatise based on solid knowledge of the principles of the text. In addition, the book’s critical examination helps clear up many of the current misunderstandings about the transmission of the text and the diagrams. The first part of the book sets out the Greek manuscript tradition of the Mechanics, resulting in a newly established stemma codicum that illustrates the affiliations of the manuscripts. This research has led to new insights into the transmission of the treatise, most importantly, it also demonstrates an urgent need for a new text. A first critical edition of the diagrams contained in the Greek manuscripts of the treatise is also presented. These diagrams are not only significant for a reconstruction of the text but can also be considered as a commentary on the text. Diagrams are thus revealed to be a powerful tool in studying processes of the transfer and transformation of knowledge. This becomes especially relevant when the manuscript diagrams are compared with those in the printed editions and in commentaries from the early modern period. The final part of the book shows that these early modern diagrams and images reflect the altered scope of the mechanical discipline in the sixteenth century.

The Structure Of Scientific Revolutions

Author : Thomas S. Kuhn
ISBN : 9780226458144
Genre : Science
File Size : 86. 43 MB
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A good book may have the power to change the way we see the world, but a great book actually becomes part of our daily consciousness, pervading our thinking to the point that we take it for granted, and we forget how provocative and challenging its ideas once were—and still are. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is that kind of book. When it was first published in 1962, it was a landmark event in the history and philosophy of science. Fifty years later, it still has many lessons to teach. With The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Kuhn challenged long-standing linear notions of scientific progress, arguing that transformative ideas don’t arise from the day-to-day, gradual process of experimentation and data accumulation but that the revolutions in science, those breakthrough moments that disrupt accepted thinking and offer unanticipated ideas, occur outside of “normal science,” as he called it. Though Kuhn was writing when physics ruled the sciences, his ideas on how scientific revolutions bring order to the anomalies that amass over time in research experiments are still instructive in our biotech age. This new edition of Kuhn’s essential work in the history of science includes an insightful introduction by Ian Hacking, which clarifies terms popularized by Kuhn, including paradigm and incommensurability, and applies Kuhn’s ideas to the science of today. Usefully keyed to the separate sections of the book, Hacking’s introduction provides important background information as well as a contemporary context. Newly designed, with an expanded index, this edition will be eagerly welcomed by the next generation of readers seeking to understand the history of our perspectives on science.

The Invention Of Physical Science

Author : M.J. Nye
ISBN : 9789401124881
Genre : Science
File Size : 43. 66 MB
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Modern physical science is constituted by specialized scientific fields rooted in experimental laboratory work and in rational and mathematical representations. Contemporary scientific explanation is rigorously differentiated from religious interpretation, although, to be sure, scientists sometimes do the philosophical work of interpreting the metaphysics of space, time, and matter. However, it is rare that either theologians or philosophers convincingly claim that they are doing the scientific work of physical scientists and mathematicians. The rigidity of these divisions and differentiations is relatively new. Modern physical science was invented slowly and gradually through interactions of the aims and contents of mathematics, theology, and natural philosophy since the seventeenth century. In essays ranging in focus from seventeenth-century interpretations of heavenly comets to twentieth-century explanations of tracks in bubble chambers, ten historians of science demonstrate metaphysical and theological threads continuing to underpin the epistemology and practice of the physical sciences and mathematics, even while they became disciplinary specialties during the last three centuries. The volume is prefaced by tributes to Erwin N. Hiebert, whose teaching and scholarship have addressed and inspired attention to these issues.

A History Of The Ideas Of Theoretical Physics

Author : S. D'Agostino
ISBN : 9789401090346
Genre : Science
File Size : 46. 78 MB
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This book presents a perspective on the history of theoretical physics over the past two hundreds years. It comprises essays on the history of pre-Maxwellian electrodynamics, of Maxwell's and Hertz's field theories, and of the present century's relativity and quantum physics. A common thread across the essays is the search for and the exploration of themes that influenced significant con ceptual changes in the great movement of ideas and experiments which heralded the emergence of theoretical physics (hereafter: TP). The fun. damental change involved the recognition of the scien tific validity of theoretical physics. In the second half of the nine teenth century, it was not easy for many physicists to understand the nature and scope of theoretical physics and of its adept, the theoreti cal physicist. A physicist like Ludwig Boltzmann, one of the eminent contributors to the new discipline, confessed in 1895 that, "even the formulation of this concept [of a theoretical physicist] is not entirely without difficulty". 1 Although science had always been divided into theory and experiment, it was only in physics that theoretical work developed into a major research and teaching specialty in its own right. 2 It is true that theoretical physics was mainly a creation of tum of-the century German physics, where it received full institutional recognition, but it is also undeniable that outstanding physicists in other European countries, namely, Ampere, Fourier, and Maxwell, also had an important part in its creation.

Heinrich Hertz Classical Physicist Modern Philosopher

Author : D. Baird
ISBN : 9789401588553
Genre : Science
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The sub-title of this symposium is accurate and, in a curious way, promises more than it states: Classical Physicist, Modem Philosopher. Heinrich Hertz, as the con summate experimentalist of 19th century technique and as brilliant clarifying critic of physical theory of his time, achieved one of the fulfilments but at the same time opened one of the transition points of classical physics. Thus, in his 'popular' lecture 'On the Relations Between Light and Electricity' at Heidelberg in the Fall of 1889, Hertz identified the ether as henceforth the most fundamental problem of physics, as the conceptual mystery but also the key to understanding mass, electric ity, and gravity. Of Hertz's demonstration of electric waves, Helmholtz told the Physical Society of Berlin: "Gentlemen! I have to communicate to you today the most important physical discovery of the century. " Hertz, philosophizing in his direct, lucid, pithy style, once wrote "We have to imagine". Perhaps this is metaphysics on the horizon? In the early pages of his Principles of Mechanics, we read A doubt which makes an impression on our mind cannot be removed by calling it metaphysical: every thoughtful mind as such has needs which scientific men are accustomed to denote as metaphysical. (PM23) And at another place, concerning the terms 'force' and 'electricity' and the alleged mystery of their natures, Hertz wrote: We have an obscure feeling of this and want to have things cleared up.

A History Of The Ideas Of Theoretical Physics

Author : S. D'Agostino
ISBN : 9789401090346
Genre : Science
File Size : 36. 97 MB
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This book presents a perspective on the history of theoretical physics over the past two hundreds years. It comprises essays on the history of pre-Maxwellian electrodynamics, of Maxwell's and Hertz's field theories, and of the present century's relativity and quantum physics. A common thread across the essays is the search for and the exploration of themes that influenced significant con ceptual changes in the great movement of ideas and experiments which heralded the emergence of theoretical physics (hereafter: TP). The fun. damental change involved the recognition of the scien tific validity of theoretical physics. In the second half of the nine teenth century, it was not easy for many physicists to understand the nature and scope of theoretical physics and of its adept, the theoreti cal physicist. A physicist like Ludwig Boltzmann, one of the eminent contributors to the new discipline, confessed in 1895 that, "even the formulation of this concept [of a theoretical physicist] is not entirely without difficulty". 1 Although science had always been divided into theory and experiment, it was only in physics that theoretical work developed into a major research and teaching specialty in its own right. 2 It is true that theoretical physics was mainly a creation of tum of-the century German physics, where it received full institutional recognition, but it is also undeniable that outstanding physicists in other European countries, namely, Ampere, Fourier, and Maxwell, also had an important part in its creation.

Functions And Uses Of Disciplinary Histories

Author : Loren Graham
ISBN : 9027715211
Genre : Law
File Size : 86. 24 MB
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Edward Gibbon's allegation at the beginning of his Essay on the Study of Literature (1764) that the history of empires is that of the miseries of humankind whereas the history of the sciences is that of their splendour and happiness has for a long time been accepted by professional scientists and by historians of science alike. For its practitioner, the history of a discipline displayed above all the always difficult but fmally rewarding approach to a truth which was incorporated in the discipline in its actual fonn. Looking back, it was only too easy to distinguish those who erred and heretics in the field from the few forerunners of true science. On the one hand, the traditional history of science was told as a story of hero and hero worship, on the other hand it was, paradoxically enough, the constant attempt to remind the scientist whom he should better forget. It is not surprising at all therefore that the traditional history of science was a field of only minor interest for the practitioner of a distinct scientific diSCipline or specialty and at the same time a hardly challenging task for the professional historian. Nietzsche had already described the historian of science as someone who arrives late after harvest-time: it is somebody who is only a tolerated guest at the thanksgiving dinner of the scientific community .

A Historical Introduction To The Philosophy Of Science

Author : John Losee
ISBN : 0198700555
Genre : Science
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John Losee provides a balanced and engaging survey of the development of views about scientific method. Ideal for those coming to the subject for the first time, this fully updated new edition incorporates discussion on contemporary debates, including philosophy of biology, normative naturalism, theory appraisal, experimental practice, and scientific realism. Concise profiles of the major philosophers discussed within the text are provided, including Aristotle, Galileo, Newton, Whewell, Hempel, and Kuhn.

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