Faraday on Scientific Method

  • Geoffrey Cantor


That Faraday expounded an empiricist view of science all commentators agree. Yet there are many incompatible strands within empiricism, and this chapter sets out to specify in a much more precise manner Faraday’s rather complex, and apparently inconsistent, views on scientific method, and also to examine why he held those views. Questions about the proper method for pursuing science were very important to him and he felt obliged on numerous occasions to expound his views on this subject so as to defend himself and his scientific work against alternative, but false, conceptions of science. In this chapter we shall be concerned with his methodological pronouncements rather than the actual methods he employed in the laboratory (a topic which will be discussed in chapter 9), although the two were closely related. An appropriate starting point for this discussion is his views about the proper role of the imagination.


Scientific Method Physical World Royal Institution Natural Theologian Eternal Life 
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© Geoffrey N. Cantor 1991

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  • Geoffrey Cantor

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