2. The Phlogiston Theory


"[A]fter Cavendish had identified inflammable air with phlogiston, Priestley predicted in 1782 that it should be possible to invert the process of calcination by adding inflammable air to a metal calx. He heated several metal calxes in inflammable air and observed that the inflammable air was almost completely absorbed and that the calxes were slowly reconverted into the metals. This was celebrated as a further strong success of the
phlogiston theory." (Schurz 2011)


Carrier, M. (2004). 'Experimental success and the revelation of reality: the miracle argument for scientific realism', in M. Carrier et al. (eds.), Knowledge and the world: challenges beyond the science wars, pp. 137-61, Heidelberg: Springer.

Ladyman, J. (2011): 'Structure Realism versus Standard Scientific Realism: The Cases of Phlogiston and Dephlogisticated Air', Synthese, 180(2), pp.87-101.

Lyons, T. D. (2002): ‘Scientific Realism and the Pessimistic Meta-Modus Tollens’, in S. Clarke and T. D. Lyons (eds), Recent Themes in the Philosophy of Science: Scientific Realism and Commonsense, Dordrecht: Kluwer, pp.63–90.

Schurz, G. (2011): Structural Correspondence, Indirect Reference, and Partial Truth: Phlogiston Theory and Newtionian Mechanics, Synthese, 180(2), pp.103-120.

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