Miraculous Success? Inconsistency and Untruth in Kirchhoff’s Diffraction Theory

Authors
Juha Saatsi
University of Leeds
Peter Vickers
Durham University
Abstract
Kirchhoff’s diffraction theory is introduced as a new case study in the realism debate. The theory is extremely successful despite being both inconsistent and not even approximately true. Some habitual realist proclamations simply cannot be maintained in the face of Kirchhoff’s theory, as the realist is forced to acknowledge that theoretical success can in some circumstances be explained in terms other than truth. The idiosyncrasy (or otherwise) of Kirchhoff’s case is considered
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Reprint years 2011
DOI 10.1093/bjps/axq008
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References found in this work BETA

Realist Ennui and the Base Rate Fallacy.P. D. Magnus & Craig Callender - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (3):320-338.
Reconsidering the Fresnel–Maxwell Theory Shift: How the Realist Can Have Her Cake and EAT It Too.Juha Saatsi - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 36 (3):509-538.

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Citations of this work BETA

A Confrontation of Convergent Realism.Peter Vickers - 2013 - Philosophy of Science 80 (2):189-211.
Replacing Recipe Realism.Juha Saatsi - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3233-3244.

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