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Text and Context in Maxwell’s Electromagnetic Theory

  • Daniel M. Siegel
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 167)

Abstract

It is a common observation that the considerable effort invested in historical and philosophical study of the work of James Clerk Maxwell in electromagnetic theory has not been handsomely repaid: the effort seems not to have been cumulative, generating rather more questions than answers. Characteristically, trenchantly — and perhaps a bit extravagantly — Paul Forman has “described the [Maxwell] enterprise as a vortex in a draining sink that continually sweeps in new intellects and new ideas, which just as continually vanish.”1 (The allusion is to Maxwell’s vortex theory of electricity and magnetism;2 I shall have more to say both about allusions in various kinds of discourse and about Maxwell’s vortex theory.)

Keywords

Science Discipline Electromagnetic Theory Displacement Current Pair Innovation Physical Line 
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

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel M. Siegel
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of the History of ScienceUniversity of WisconsinUSA

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