Pub. Date:
University of Pittsburgh Press
The Philosophy of Scientific Experimentation

The Philosophy of Scientific Experimentation

by Hans Radder


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Since the late 1980s, the neglect of experiment by philosophers and historians of science has been replaced by a keen interest in the subject. In this volume, a number of prominent philosophers of experiment directly address basic theoretical questions, develop existing philosophical accounts, and offer novel perspectives on the subject, rather than rely exclusively on historical cases of experimental practice.

Each essay examines one or more of six interconnected themes that run throughout the collection: the philosophical implications of actively and intentionally interfering with the material world while conducting experiments; issues of interpretation regarding causality; the link between science and technology; the role of theory in experimentation involving material and causal intervention; the impact of modeling and computer simulation on experimentation; and the philosophical implications of the design, operation, and use of scientific instruments.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780822957959
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
Publication date: 02/23/2003
Edition description: 1
Pages: 328
Product dimensions: 6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgmentsvii
About the Contributorsix
1Toward a More Developed Philosophy of Scientific Experimentation1
2The Materiality of Instruments in a Metaphysics for Experiments19
3Thing Knowledge: Outline of a Materialist Theory of Knowledge39
4Physics, Experiments, and the Concept of Nature68
5Experimentation, Causal Inference, and Instrumental Realism87
6Technology as Basis and Object of Experimental Practices119
7Theory-Ladenness and Scientific Instruments in Experimentation138
8Technology and Theory in Experimental Science152
9The Idols of Experiment: Transcending the "Etc. List"174
10Models, Simulation, and "Computer Experiments"198
11Experiments without Material Intervention: Model Experiments, Virtual Experiments, and Virtually Experiments216
12Designing Instruments and the Design of Nature236
13Varying the Cognitive Span: Experimentation, Visualization, and Computation255

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