Superconductivity and structures: revisiting the London account

Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 28 (3):363-393 (1997)
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Abstract

Cartwright and her collaborators have elaborated a provocative view of science which emphasises the independence from theory &unknown;in methods and aims&unknown; of phenomenological model building. This thesis has been supported in a recent paper by an analysis of the London and London model of superconductivity. In the present work we begin with a critique of Cartwright's account of the relationship between theoretical and phenomenological models before elaborating an alternative picture within the framework of the partial structures version of the semantic approach to theories. Drawing on the recent histories of superconductivity by Dahl and Gavroglu, together with the original works by London and London and by F. London separately, and taking due consideration of the heuristic aspects, we argue that the historical details fail to support Cartwright et al.'s claims but that they fit comfortably within the partial structures framework.

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Author Profiles

Steven French
University of Leeds
James Ladyman
University of Bristol

Citations of this work

What is structural realism?James Ladyman - 1998 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 29 (3):409-424.
Reinflating the semantic approach.Steven French & James Ladyman - 1999 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 13 (2):103 – 121.
Empirical adequacy: A partial structures approach.Otávio Bueno - 1997 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 28 (4):585-610.
The Structure of Scientific Theories.Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther - 2015 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Theories: Tools versus models.Mauricio Suárez & Nancy Cartwright - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 39 (1):62-81.

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References found in this work

Nature's capacities and their measurement.Nancy Cartwright - 1989 - New York: Oxford University Press.
What is structural realism?James Ladyman - 1998 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 29 (3):409-424.
Galilean Idealization.Ernan McMullin - 1985 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 16 (3):247.
Saving the phenomena.James Bogen & James Woodward - 1988 - Philosophical Review 97 (3):303-352.
Reinflating the semantic approach.Steven French & James Ladyman - 1999 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 13 (2):103 – 121.

View all 21 references / Add more references