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Dynamical versus structural explanations in scientific revolutions

Dorato, Mauro (2014) Dynamical versus structural explanations in scientific revolutions. [Preprint]

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Abstract

By briefly reviewing three well-known scientific revolutions in fundamental physics (the discovery of inertia, of special relativity and of general relativity), I claim that problems that were supposed to be crying for a dynamical explanation in the old paradigm ended up receiving a structural explanation in the new one. This claim is meant to give more substance to Kuhn’s view that revolutions are accompanied by a shift in what needs to be explained, while suggesting at the same time the existence of a pattern that is common to all of the discussed case-studies. It remains to be seen whether also quantum mechanics, in particular entanglement, conforms to this pattern.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Dorato, Maurodorato@uniroma3.it
Keywords: Scientific revolution, causal explanation, dynamical explanation, structural explanation, Kuhn, inertia, special relativity, general relativity, spatiotemporal symmetries, entanglement
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
General Issues > Theory Change
Depositing User: Mauro Dorato
Date Deposited: 26 Aug 2014 22:00
Last Modified: 26 Aug 2014 22:00
Item ID: 10982
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
General Issues > Theory Change
Date: August 2014
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/10982

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