Empirical factors and structure transference: Returning to the London account

Otávio Bueno, Steven French, James Ladyman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

We offer a framework to represent the roles of empirical and theoretical factors in theory construction, and examine a case study to illustrate how the framework can be used to illuminate central features of scientific reasoning. The case study provides an extension of French and Ladyman's (1997) analysis of Fritz and Heinz London's model of superconductivity to accommodate the role of the analogy between superconductivity and diamagnetic phenomena in the development of the model between 1935 and 1937. We focus on this case since it allows us to separate the roles of empirical and theoretical factors, and so provides an example of the utility of the approach that we have adopted. We conclude the paper by drawing on the particular framework here developed to address a range of concerns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-104
Number of pages10
JournalStudies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics
Volume43
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2012

Keywords

  • London and London model
  • Models
  • Partial structures
  • Semantic approach
  • Superconductivity
  • Theory construction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science

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