Demonstrative induction, old and new evidence and the accuracy of the electrostatic inverse square law

Synthese 99 (1):23 - 58 (1994)
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Abstract

Maxwell claimed that the electrostatic inverse square law could be deduced from Cavendish's spherical condenser experiment. This is true only if the accuracy claims made by Cavendish and Maxwell are ignored, for both used the inverse square law as a premise in their analyses of experimental accuracy. By so doing, they assumed the very law the accuracy of which the Cavendish experiment was supposed to test. This paper attempts to make rational sense of this apparently circular procedure and to relate it to some variants of traditional problems concerning old and new evidence.

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Ronald Laymon
Ohio State University

Citations of this work

Meta-Empirical Support for Eliminative Reasoning.C. D. McCoy - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 90:15-29.
Emergence of Complementarity and the Baconian Roots of Niels Bohr's Method.Slobodan Perovic - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (3):162-173.
Experimentation and the Legitimacy of Idealization.Ronald Laymon - 1995 - Philosophical Studies 77 (2-3):353 - 375.

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References found in this work

Theory and Evidence.Clark N. Glymour - 1980 - Princeton University Press.
Theory and Evidence.Clark Glymour - 1982 - Erkenntnis 18 (1):105-130.
Theory and Evidence.Clark Glymour - 1980 - Ethics 93 (3):613-615.
Scientific Inference.Abner Shimony - 1970 - In Robert Colodny (ed.), The Nature and Function of Scientific Theories. University of Pittsburgh Press. pp. 4.

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