Whewell’s Tidal Researches: Scientific Practise and Philosophical Methodology

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Ducheyne, Steffen
preprint description
Primarily between 1833 and 1840, Whewell attempted to accomplish what natural philosophers and scientists since at least Galileo had failed to do: to provide a systematic and broad-ranged study of the tides and to attempt to establish a general scientific theory of tidal phenomena. In the essay at hand, I document the close interaction between Whewell’s philosophy of science (especially his methodological views) and his scientific practice as a tidologist. I claim that the intertwinement between Whewell’s methodology and his tidology is more fundamental than has hitherto been documented.