From phenomenology to field theory: Faraday's visual reasoning

Perspectives on Science 14 (1):40-65 (2006)
Abstract
: Faraday is often described as an experimentalist, but his work is a dialectical interplay of concrete objects, visual images, abstract, theoretically-informed visual models and metaphysical precepts. From phenomena described in terms of patterns formed by lines of force he created a general explanation of space-filling systems of force which obey both empirical laws and principles of conservation and economy. I argue that Faraday's articulation of situated experience via visual models into a theory capable of verbal expression owed much to his strategy of moving—via conjectural visual models—between the phenomenology of particulars (often displayed as patterns) and the general features of dynamical phenomena which he depicted as structures
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References found in this work BETA
Kenneth Caneva (1980). Ampère, the Etherians, and the Oersted Connexion. British Journal for the History of Science 13 (2):121-138.
Citations of this work BETA
David C. Gooding (2010). Visualizing Scientific Inference. Topics in Cognitive Science 2 (1):15-35.
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