Demonstrative induction, old and new evidence and the accuracy of the electrostatic inverse square law
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Synthese 99 (1):23 - 58 (1994)
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 (1995). Experimentation and the Legitimacy of Idealization. Philosophical Studies 77 (2-3):353 - 375.
Slobodan Perovic (2013). Emergence of Complementarity and the Baconian Roots of Niels Bohr's Method. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 44 (3):162-173.
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