Edison, Science and Artefacts

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Wills, Ian
conference paper description
This paper contrasts the approach Thomas Edison used when dealing with his claim to have discovered a new force of nature, etheric force, to the approach he used to create successful inventions. It argues that he failed in this adventure into scientific theory making because an erroneous view of science led him to abandon techniques that made him America's most successful inventor. From this I develop an argument for viewing experimental science as an artefact creation process, like inventing, in which two of the artefacts created are theories and demonstration experiments that support the theories.