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Exploratory Experiments
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The nineteenth century was a formative period for electromagnetism and electrodynamics. Hans Christian Orsted's groundbreaking discovery of the interaction between electricity and magnetism in 1820 inspired a wave of research, led to the science of electrodynamics, and resulted in the developmentof electromagnetic theory. Remarkably, in response, Andre-Marie Ampere and Michael Faraday developed two incompatible, competing theories. Although their approaches and conceptual frameworks were fundamentally different, together their work launched a technological revolution-laying the foundation for our modern scientific understanding of electricity- and one of the most important debates in physics, between electrodynamic action-at-a-distance and field theories. In this foundational study, Friedrich Steinle compares the influential work of Ampere and Faraday to reveal the prominent role of exploratory experimentation in the development of science. While this exploratory phase was responsible for decisive conceptual innovations, it has yet to be examined in such great detail. Focusing on Ampere's and Faraday's research practices, reconstructed from previously unknown archival materials, including laboratory notes, diaries, letters, and interactions with instrument makers, this book considers both the historic and epistemological basis of exploratory experimentation and its importance to scientific development.
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About the Author

Friedrich Steinle is professor of history of science at the Technical University ofBerlin and president of the German Society for History of Science, Medicine, and Technology.Alex Levine, is professor of philosophy at the University of South Florida and editor of the journal Perspectives on Science. He is coauthor of From Man to Ape and Darwinistas! He has published translations from German, French, and Spanish,including Paul Hoyningen-Huene's Reconstructing Scientific Revolutions and Formal Logic: A Philosophical Approach.

Reviews

Praise for the German edition: "This is a major contribution to scholarship on Ampere and Faraday. Steinle's account of the interaction between exploratory experimentation and concept formation in Ampere's and Faraday's electrodynamic and electromagnetic work evinces a deep understanding of their concerns." --History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences Praise for the German edition: "Steinle's study can be recommended as a remarkable example of how to combine explicitly historical case studies with epistemological concepts in a manner that both parts benefit from the other. Moreover, the book is written very clearly and intelligibly. Therefore, readers who have no expertise in the history of electrodynamics will benefit from this study." --Nuncius Praise for the German edition: "Steinle is successful in presenting a fascinating picture of Ampere's style in experimental praxis and in contextualizing his research program within the highly mathematized tradition of Laplacian physics." --Isis "This is an extraordinary book, destined to be a classic in several disciplines. It focuses on the work of two key figures, Andre-Marie Ampere and Michael Faraday, and the beginning phases of their exceptionally clear-cut, intense research into electromagnetism and the dynamics of the interactions between electrical currents and magnetic effects. Friedrich Steinle is one of the pioneers responsible for introducing the concept of exploratory experimentation into the philosophy of science." --Richard Burian, Virginia Tech "It is high time that Steinle's original study, which introduces, develops, and defends the concept of exploratory experimentation, becomes available to an English-speaking audience. Not only does this book make accessible a wealth of previously unpublished primary sources related to Ampere's and Faraday's practices of studying electromagnetism, but it is also a powerful illustration of how history of science can be a valuable resource for philosophical thought." --Jutta Schickore, Indiana University Praise for the German edition: "Steinle is successful in presenting a fascinating picture of Ampere's style in experimental praxis and in contextualizing his research program within the highly mathematized tradition of Laplacian physics." --Isis Praise for the German edition: -This is a major contribution to scholarship on Ampere and Faraday. Steinle's account of the interaction between exploratory experimentation and concept formation in Ampere's and Faraday's electrodynamic and electromagnetic work evinces a deep understanding of their concerns.- --History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences Praise for the German edition: -Steinle's study can be recommended as a remarkable example of how to combine explicitly historical case studies with epistemological concepts in a manner that both parts benefit from the other. Moreover, the book is written very clearly and intelligibly. Therefore, readers who have no expertise in the history of electrodynamics will benefit from this study.- --Nuncius Praise for the German edition: -Steinle is successful in presenting a fascinating picture of Ampere's style in experimental praxis and in contextualizing his research program within the highly mathematized tradition of Laplacian physics.- --Isis Praise for the German edition: "This is a major contribution to scholarship on Ampere and Faraday. Steinle's account of the interaction between exploratory experimentation and concept formation in Ampere's and Faraday's electrodynamic and electromagnetic work evinces a deep understanding of their concerns." --History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences Praise for the German edition: "Steinle's study can be recommended as a remarkable example of how to combine explicitly historical case studies with epistemological concepts in a manner that both parts benefit from the other. Moreover, the book is written very clearly and intelligibly. Therefore, readers who have no expertise in the history of electrodynamics will benefit from this study." --Nuncius Praise for the German edition: "Steinle is successful in presenting a fascinating picture of Ampere's style in experimental praxis and in contextualizing his research program within the highly mathematized tradition of Laplacian physics." --Isis Praise for the German edition: This is a major contribution to scholarship on Ampere and Faraday. Steinle s account of the interaction between exploratory experimentation and concept formation in Ampere s and Faraday s electrodynamic and electromagnetic work evinces a deep understanding of their concerns. "History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences"" Praise for the German edition: Steinle s study can be recommended as a remarkable example of how to combine explicitly historical case studies with epistemological concepts in a manner that both parts benefit from the other. Moreover, the book is written very clearly and intelligibly. Therefore, readers who have no expertise in the history of electrodynamics will benefit from this study. "Nuncius"" Praise for the German edition: Steinle is successful in presenting a fascinating picture of Ampere s style in experimental praxis and in contextualizing his research program within the highly mathematized tradition of Laplacian physics. "Isis"" It is high time that Steinle s original study, which introduces, develops, and defends the concept of exploratory experimentation, becomes available to an English-speaking audience. Not only does this book make accessible a wealth of previously unpublished primary sources related to Ampere s and Faraday s practices of studying electromagnetism, but it is also a powerful illustration of how history of science can be a valuable resource for philosophical thought. Jutta Schickore, Indiana University" This is an extraordinary book, destined to be a classic in several disciplines. It focuses on the work of two key figures, Andre-Marie Ampere and Michael Faraday, and the beginning phases of their exceptionally clear-cut, intense research into electromagnetism and the dynamics of the interactions between electrical currents and magnetic effects. Friedrich Steinle is one of the pioneers responsible for introducing the concept of exploratory experimentation into the philosophy of science. Richard Burian, Virginia Tech"

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