Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Book of Evidence$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Peter Achinstein

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195143898

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195143892.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 October 2019

Evidence for Molecules: Jean Perrin and Molecular Reality

Evidence for Molecules: Jean Perrin and Molecular Reality

Chapter:
(p.243) 12 Evidence for Molecules: Jean Perrin and Molecular Reality
Source:
The Book of Evidence
Author(s):

Peter Achinstein (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0195143892.003.0012

Jean Perrin's argument for the existence of molecules on the basis of his 1908 experiments with Brownian motion is examined. Various interpretations of that argument, including hypothetico‐deductive, Wesley Salmon's common‐cause idea, and Clark Glymour's bootstrapping claims, are examined and rejected. The argument is reconstructed as an eliminative‐causal one, and it is shown how it conforms to the requirements of potential evidence. It is also argued, against antirealist interpretations of Perrin, that Perrin himself was applying a realist argument to the existence of unobservable molecules rather than an instrumentalist one to the truth of the observational consequences of the molecular theory.

Keywords:   bootstrapping, Brownian motion, common cause, eliminative‐causal reasoning, evidence, Glymour, hypothetico‐deductive, instrumentalism, Perrin, realism, Salmon

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .