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Retention of structure across theory change has been invoked in support of a ‘structural’ alternative to more traditional entity-based scientific realism. In that context the transition from Newtonian mechanics to the Special Theory of Relativity is often regarded as a very significant instance of structural preservation, or retention, associated with correspondence-based recovery. The joint derivation, from a small set of elementary and ontologically neutral assumptions, of both the Galilei and the Lorentz transformation exemplifies the virtues of structural approaches to the foundations of physical theories. The common origination of the resulting two relativistic frameworks sheds light on both the successes and the limitations of correspondence claims. However, the cognitive-operational character of the basic assumptions lends no support to the structural realist’s ‘inference to the best explanation’.
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DOI 10.1007/s10838-016-9348-6
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A Constructivist View of Newton’s Mechanics.H. G. Solari & M. A. Natiello - 2018 - Foundations of Science 24 (2):1-35.

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