Journal Article

Understanding Electromagnetism

Gordon Belot

in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science

Published on behalf of British Society for the Philosophy of Science

Volume 49, issue 4, pages 531-555
Published in print December 1998 | ISSN: 0007-0882
Published online December 1998 | e-ISSN: 1464-3537 | DOI:
Understanding Electromagnetism

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It is often said that the Aharonov-Bohm effect shows that the vector potential enjoys more ontological significance than we previously realized. But how can a quantum-mechanical effect teach us something about the interpretation of Maxwell's theory—let alone about the ontological structure of the world—when both theories are false? I present a rational reconstruction of the interpretative repercussions of the Aharonov-Bohm effect, and suggest some morals for our conception of the interpretative enterprise.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science ; Science and Mathematics

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