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Correspondence, Invariance and Heuristics in the Emergence of Special Relativity

  • Harvey R. Brown
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 148)

Abstract

“It is particularly interesting to point to progress in science towards new, better theories, entirely guided by factors internal to the old theory.” In his provocative 1971 essay on the ‘rationale’ of scientific discovery (Post 1971), Heinz Post gave this as one of the reasons for embarking on such a study. In the case of the emergence of special relativity, one of the four scientific revolutions Post discussed in defending his rationale of ‘conservative induction’, the observation is particularly apt. In the present paper, I want first to elaborate on this theme. Einstein’s 1905 postulates have larger “footprints” — to borrow Post’s term — in the “old theory” (if by this is meant the assortment of Maxwell-Lorentz ether electrodynamics, classical mechanics and thermodynamics) than is perhaps still widely appreciated.

Keywords

Special Relativity Inertial Frame Lorentz Transformation Classical Electrodynamic Relativity Principle 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harvey R. Brown
    • 1
  1. 1.Sub-Faculty of PhilosophyUniversity of OxfordUK

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