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Miraculous success ? inconsistency and untruth in Kirchhoff's diffraction theory.

Saatsi, J. and Vickers, P. (2011) 'Miraculous success ? inconsistency and untruth in Kirchhoff's diffraction theory.', British journal for the philosophy of science., 62 (1). pp. 29-46.

Abstract

Kirchhoff’s diffraction theory is introduced as a new case study in the realism debate. The theory is extremely successful despite being both inconsistent and not even approximately true. Some habitual realist proclamations simply cannot be maintained in the face of Kirchhoff’s theory, as the realist is forced to acknowledge that theoretical success can in some circumstances be explained in terms other than truth. The idiosyncrasy (or otherwise) of Kirchhoff’s case is considered.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjps/axq008
Publisher statement:This is a pre-copy-editing author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in British journal for the philosophy of science following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Saatsi, J. and Vickers, P. (2011) 'Miraculous success ? inconsistency and untruth in Kirchhoff's diffraction theory.', British journal for the philosophy of science., 62 (1). pp. 29-46 is available online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjps/axq008
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:12 February 2013
Date of first online publication:March 2011
Date first made open access:No date available

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