Inventing Temperature Measurement and Scientific Progress

ISBN-10: 0195337387

ISBN-13: 9780195337389

Edition: N/A

Authors: Hasok Chang

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What is temperature, and how can we measure it correctly? These may seem like simple questions, but the most renowned scientists struggled with them throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. In Inventing Temperature, Chang examines how scientists first created thermometers; how they measured temperature beyond the reach of standard thermometers; and how they managed to assess the reliability and accuracy of these instruments without a circular reliance on the instruments themselves. In a discussion that brings together the history of science with the philosophy of science, Chang presents the simple eet challenging epistemic and technical questions about these instruments, and the complex web of abstract philosophical issues surrounding them. Chang's book shows that many items of knowledge that we take for granted now are in fact spectacular achievements, obtained only after a great deal of innovative thinking, painstaking experiments, bold conjectures, and controversy. Lurking behind these achievements are some very important philosophical questions about how and when people accept the authority of science.
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Book details

List price: $35.95
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 9/28/2007
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 304
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.990
Language: English

Note on Translation
Keeping the Fixed Points Fixed
Narrative: What to Do When Water Refuses to Boil at the Boiling Point
Blood, Butter, and Deep Cellars: The Necessity and Scarcity of Fixed Points
The Vexatious Variations of the Boiling Point
Superheating and the Mirage of True Ebullition
Escape from Superheating
The Understanding of Boiling
A Dusty Epilogue
Analysis: The Meaning and Achievement of Fixity
The Validation of Standards: Justificatory Descent
The Iterative Improvement of Standards: Constructive Ascent
The Defense of Fixity: Plausible Denial and Serendipitous Robustness
The Case of the Freezing Point
Spirit, Air, and Quicksilver
Narrative: The Search for the "Real" Scale of Temperature
The Problem of Nomic Measurement
De Luc and the Method of Mixtures
Caloric Theories against the Method of Mixtures
The Calorist Mirage of Gaseous Linearity
Regnault: Austerity and Comparability
The Verdict: Air over Mercury
Analysis: Measurement and Theory in the Context of Empiricism
The Achievement of Observability, by Stages
Comparability and the Ontological Principle of Single Value
Minimalism against Duhemian Holism
Regnault and Post-Laplacian Empiricism
To Go Beyond
Narrative: Measuring Temperature When Thermometers Melt and Freeze
Can Mercury Be Frozen?
Can Mercury Tell Us Its Own Freezing Point?
Consolidating the Freezing Point of Mercury
Adventures of a Scientific Potter
It Is Temperature, but Not As We Know It?
Ganging Up on Wedgwood
Analysis: The Extension of Concepts beyond Their Birth Domains
Travel Advisory from Percy Bridgman
Beyond Bridgman: Meaning, Definition, and Validity
Strategies for Metrological Extension
Mutual Grounding as a Growth Strategy
Theory, Measurement, and Absolute Temperature
Narrative: The Quest for the Theoretical Meaning of Temperature
Temperature, Heat, and Cold
Theoretical Temperature before Thermodynamics
William Thomson's Move to the Abstract
Thomson's Second Absolute Temperature
Semi-Concrete Models of the Cannot Cycle
Using Gas Thermometers to Approximate Absolute Temperature
Analysis: Operationalization-Making Contact between Thinking and Doing
The Hidden Difficulties of Reduction
Dealing with Abstractions
Operationalization and Its Validity
Accuracy through Iteration
Theoretical Temperature without Thermodynamics?
Measurement, Justification, and Scientific Progress
Measurement, Circularity, and Coherentism
Making Coherentism Progressive: Epistemic Iteration
Fruits of Iteration: Enrichment and Self-Correction
Tradition, Progress, and Pluralism
The Abstract and the Concrete
Complementary Science-History and Philosophy of Science as a Continuation of Science by Other Means
The Complementary Function of History and Philosophy of Science
Philosophy, History, and Their Interaction in Complementary Science
The Character of Knowledge Generated by Complementary Science
Relations to Other Modes of Historical and Philosophical Study of Science
A Continuation of Science by Other Means
Glossary of Scientific, Historical, and Philosophical Terms
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