Waves, particles, and explanatory coherence

Peter Achinstein (1990, 1991) analyses the scientific debate that took place in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries concerning the nature of light. He offers a probabilistic account of the methods employed by both particle theorists and wave theorists, and rejects any analysis of this debate in terms of coherence. He characterizes coherence through reference to William Whewell's writings concerning how "consilience of inductions" establishes an acceptable theory (Whewell, 1847) . Achinstein rejects this analysis because of its vagueness and lack of reference to empirical data, concluding that coherence is insufficient to account for the belief change that took place during the wave-particle debate.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/bjps/48.1.1
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,974
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
P. Thagard (1998). Ulcers and Bacteria I: Discovery and Acceptance. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 29 (1):107-136.
Paul Thagard (2012). Coherence: The Price is Right. Southern Journal of Philosophy 50 (1):42-49.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

12 ( #200,924 of 1,725,873 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #348,700 of 1,725,873 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.