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Necessity and contingency in the discovery of electron diffraction


Could all or part of our taken-as-established scientific conclusions, theories, experimental data, ontological commitments, and so forth have been significantly different? Science as It Could Have Been focuses on a crucial issue that contemporary science studies have often neglected: the issue of contingency within science. It considers a number of case studies, past and present, from a wide range of scientific disciplines—physics, biology, geology, mathematics, and psychology—to explore whether components of human science are inevitable, or if we could have developed an alternative successful science based on essentially different notions, conceptions, and results. Bringing together a group of distinguished contributors in philosophy, sociology, and history of science, this edited volume offers a comprehensive analysis of the contingency/inevitability problem and a lively and up-to-date portrait of current debates in science studies.


Gingras, Y. (2015). Necessity and contingency in the discovery of electron diffraction. Dans L. Soler, E. Trizio et A. Pickering (dir.), Science as it could have been: Discussing the contingency/inevitability problem (p. 202-219). Pittsburgh : University of Pittsburgh Press.

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