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  1. The Confined Atom: James Clerk Maxwell on the Fundamental Particles and the Limits of Scientific Knowledge.Charis Charalampous - 2021 - Perspectives on Science 29 (2):189-214.
    This paper distinguishes in Maxwell’s thought between “atomic molecules” and “ultimate atoms,” and arrives at a set of properties that characterize each type of atom. It concludes that Maxwell is a mathematical atomist, an approach that entails the notion that although it is impossible to observe the ultimate atoms as free particles, we can nevertheless study them as mathematical observables, on the caveat that mathematical formalism remains tied to phenomenalism and to theoretical interpretations of such phenomena as, for example, mass (...)
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  • Maxwell, Helmholtz, and the unreasonable effectiveness of the method of physical analogy.Alisa Bokulich - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 50:28-37.
    The fact that the same equations or mathematical models reappear in the descriptions of what are otherwise disparate physical systems can be seen as yet another manifestation of Wigner's “unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics.” James Clerk Maxwell famously exploited such formal similarities in what he called the “method of physical analogy.” Both Maxwell and Hermann von Helmholtz appealed to the physical analogies between electromagnetism and hydrodynamics in their development of these theories. I argue that a closer historical examination of the different (...)
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  • How to infer explanations from computer simulations.Florian J. Boge - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 82:25-33.
    Computer simulations are involved in numerous branches of modern science, and science would not be the same without them. Yet the question of how they can explain real-world processes remains an issue of considerable debate. In this context, a range of authors have highlighted the inferences back to the world that computer simulations allow us to draw. I will first characterize the precise relation between computer and target of a simulation that allows us to draw such inferences. I then argue (...)
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  • Multiple Roles for Analogies in the Genesis of Fluid Mechanics: How Analogies Can Cooperate with Other Heuristic Strategies.Alain Ulazia - 2016 - Foundations of Science 21 (4):543-565.
    When Johann and Daniel Bernoulli founded fluid dynamics they encountered several problems. To go beyond the vision of Newtonian particles, a new set of images was needed in order to deal with the spatial extensibility and lack of form of fluids. I point to evidence that analogy was an essential abductive strategy in the creation of this imagery. But its heuristic behavior is complex: analogy can provide an initial model or proto-model that establishes the starting point of a theoretical process, (...)
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  • Communicative Rationality of the Maxwellian Revolution.Rinat M. Nugayev - 2015 - Foundations of Science 20 (4):447-478.
    It is demonstrated that Maxwellian electrodynamics was created as a result of the old pre-Maxwellian programmes’s reconciliation: the electrodynamics of Ampère–Weber, the wave theory of Young–Fresnel and Faraday’s programme. Maxwell’s programme finally superseded the Ampère–Weber one because it assimilated the ideas of the Ampère–Weber programme, as well as the presuppositions of the programmes of Young–Fresnel and Faraday. Maxwell’s victory became possible because the core of Maxwell’s unification strategy was formed by Kantian epistemology. Maxwell put forward as a basic synthetic principle (...)
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  • Maxwellian Electrodynamics Genesis and Development: Intertheoretic Context.Rinat Magdievich Nugayev - 2016 - Spontaneous Generations 8 (1):55-92.
    Key words: rationality, communication, maxwellian revolution, Ampere-Weber research programme, synthesis, Kantian epistemology.. Why did Maxwell’s programme supersede the Ampere-Weber one? – To answer the question one has to consider the intertheoretic context of maxwellian electrodynamics genesis and development. It is demonstrated that maxwellian electrodynamics was created as a result of the old pre-maxwellian programmes reconciliation: the electrodynamics of Ampere-Weber, the wave theory of Young-Fresnel and Faraday’s programme. The programmes’ meeting led to construction of the hybrid theory at first with an (...)
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  • The Double Nature of Maxwell's Physical Analogies.Francesco Nappo - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 89 (C):212-225.
    Building upon work by Mary Hesse (1974), this paper aims to show that a single method of investigation lies behind Maxwell’s use of physical analogies in his major scientific works before the Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism. Key to understanding the operation of this method is to recognize that Maxwell’s physical analogies are intended to possess an ‘inductive’ function in addition to an ‘illustrative’ one. That is to say, they not only serve to clarify the equations proposed for an unfamiliar (...)
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  • Maxwell's role in turning the concept of model into the methodology of modeling.Giora Hon & Bernard R. Goldstein - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 88 (C):321-333.
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