Abstraction via generic modeling in concept formation in science

Cases where analogy has played a significant role in the formation of a new scientific concept are well-documented. Yet, how is it that genuinely new representations can be constructed from existing representations? It is argued that the process of ‘generic modeling’ enables abstraction of features common to both the domain of the source of the analogy and of the target phenomena. The analysis focuses on James Clerk Maxwell's construction of the electromagnetic field concept. The mathematical representation Maxwell constructed turned out to be a system of abstract laws that when applied to electromagnetic systems yield laws of a dynamical system that will not map back onto the mechanicals domains used in their construction
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DOI 10.1007/BF02511871
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References found in this work BETA
Nancy J. Nersessian (1984). Faraday to Einstein: Constructing Meaning in Scientific Theories. Distributors for the United States and Canada, Kluwer Academic Publishers.

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Citations of this work BETA
Ulrich Witt (2009). Novelty and the Bounds of Unknowledge in Economics. Journal of Economic Methodology 16 (4):361-375.

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Nancy J. Nersessian (1988). Reasoning From Imagery and Analogy in Scientific Concept Formation. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1988:41 - 47.

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