Friday, 2 October 2009
What to Do If You Want To Defend a Theory You Can't Prove: Maxwell's Method of Physical Speculation
Peter Achinstein, Johns Hopkins University, Department of Philosophy
12:05 pm, 817R Cathedral of Learning
Abstract: I formulate a method employed by James Clerk Maxwell in 1875 to argue for molecular theory without any experimental proof that molecules exist. I generalize that method to a broad class of micro-theories. And I defend it against potential critics.