Hidden Underdetermination: A Case Study in Classical Electrodynamics

Abstract
In this article, I present a case study of underdetermination in nineteenth-century electrodynamics between a pure field theory and a formulation in terms of action at a distance. A particular focus is on the question if and how this underdetermination is eventually resolved. It turns out that after a period of overt underdetermination, during which the approaches are developed separately, the two programmes are merged. On the basis of this development, I argue that the original underdetermination survives in hidden form in ontological and methodological redundancies of the subsequent particle?field electrodynamics. Implications regarding criteria for theory choice and the realism debate are briefly addressed
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DOI 10.1080/02698595.2012.703477
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The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory.Pierre Maurice Marie Duhem - 1954 - Princeton: Princeton University Press.

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