Bell's 'Lorentzian Pedagogy': A Bad Education

Abstract

Bell’s 'Lorentzian Pedagogy' has been extolled as a constructive account of the relativistic contraction of moving rods. Bell claimed advantages for teaching relativity through the older approach of Lorentz, Fitzgerald and Larmor. However, he describes the differences between their absolutist approach and the relativistic one as philosophical, and claims that the facts of physics do not force us to choose between them. Bell’s interpretation of the physics of motion contraction, and therefore of constructivist as opposed to principle approaches, is indeterminate. His flawed pedagogy never directly addresses the difference between Fitzgerald and Lorentz contractions.

Download options

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 72,694

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

  • Only published works are available at libraries.

Analytics

Added to PP
2015-09-07

Downloads
18 (#613,765)

6 months
1 (#388,311)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Graham Nerlich
University of Adelaide

References found in this work

Drawing the Line Between Kinematics and Dynamics in Special Relativity.Michel Janssen - 2009 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 40 (1):26-52.
Presentism and Relativity. [REVIEW]Yuri Balashov & Michel Janssen - 2003 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 54 (2):327-346.
How to Teach Special Relativity.John S. Bell - 1976 - Progress in Scientific Culture 1.

View all 10 references / Add more references

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The “Reality” of the Lorentz Contraction.Dennis Dieks - 1984 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 15 (2):330-342.
Presentism and Relativity. [REVIEW]Yuri Balashov & Michel Janssen - 2003 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 54 (2):327-346.