Modeling High-Temperature Superconductivity: Correspondence at Bay?

  • Stephan Hartmann
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 255)


How does a predecessor theory relate to its successor? According to Heinz Post’s General Correspondence Principle, the successor theory has to account for the empirical success of its predecessor. After a critical discussion of this principle, I outline and discuss various kinds of correspondence relations that hold between successive scientific theories. I then look in some detail at a case study from contemporary physics: the various proposals for a theory of high-temperature superconductivity. The aim of this case study is to understand better the prospects and the place of a methodological principle such as the Generalized Correspondence Principle. Generalizing from the case study, I will then argue that some such principle has to be considered, at best, as one tool that might guide scientists in their theorizing. Finally I present a tentative account of why principles such as the Generalized Correspondence Principle work so often and why there is so much continuity in scientific theorizing


Bayesianism constructionism correspondence principle modeling scientific realism theory change 


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© Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephan Hartmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Logic and Philosophy of ScienceTilburg UniversityTilburgThe Netherlands

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