International Studies in Phenomenology and Philosophy

Series | Book | Chapter


Modeling high-temperature superconductivity

correspondence at bay?

Stephan Hartmann

pp. 109-129


How does a predecessor theory relate to its successor? According to Heinz Post's General Correspondence Principle, the successor theory has to account for the empirical success of its predecessor. After a critical discussion of this principle, I outline and discuss various kinds of correspondence relations that hold between successive scientific theories. I then look in some detail at a case study from contemporary physics: the various proposals for a theory of high-temperature superconductivity. The aim of this case study is to understand better the prospects and the place of a methodological principle such as the Generalized Correspondence Principle. Generalizing from the case study, I will then argue that some such principle has to be considered, at best, as one tool that might guide scientists in their theorizing. Finally I present a tentative account of why principles such as the Generalized Correspondence Principle work so often and why there is so much continuity in scientific theorizing

Publication details

Published in:

Soler Léna, Sankey Howard, Hoyningen-Huene Paul (2008) Rethinking scientific change and theory comparison: stabilities, ruptures, incommensurabilities?. Dordrecht, Springer.

Pages: 109-129

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4020-6279-7_8

Full citation:

Hartmann Stephan (2008) „Modeling high-temperature superconductivity: correspondence at bay?“, In: L. Soler, H. Sankey & P. Hoyningen-Huene (eds.), Rethinking scientific change and theory comparison, Dordrecht, Springer, 109–129.