Superconductivity and structures: Revisiting the London account

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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    J. Ladyman (1998). What is Structural Realism? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 29 (3):409-424.
    Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther (2012). Interweaving Categories: Styles, Paradigms, and Models. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, Part A 43 (4):628-639.
    Mauricio Suárez & Nancy Cartwright (2007). Theories: Tools Versus Models. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 39 (1):62-81.

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