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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David C. Gooding (2010). Visualizing Scientific Inference. Topics in Cognitive Science 2 (1):15-35.
Giora Hon & Bernard R. Goldstein (2012). Maxwell's Contrived Analogy: An Early Version of the Methodology of Modeling. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 43 (4):236-257.
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