|Abstract||Research at the nanoscale (10 7 to 10 9 meters) raises a number of intriguing philosophical issues. In this paper, I address one of them: the role of what can be called “visual evidence” in the construction and assessment of nanophenomena. First, a clarification is in order regarding the concepts of visual evidence and nanophenomena. It might be thought that the former expresses a redundancy whereas the latter is an oxymoron. After all, at least if we follow its Latin etymology, evidence emerges from what is obvious to the eye (and thus can be seen). In this sense, any evidence should then be visual. However, once the concept of evidence is formulated in the context of certain philosophical views, this immediate link to a visual experience need not be maintained although, ultimately, there will always be such a link. Having said that, breaking the link with the observable is precisely what happens in the case of some of the most influential models of evidence. Rather than keeping a close link to what can be visually perceived, these models stress the way in which evidence supports certain theories in particular, by making more likely that such theories be true. With regard to “nanophenomena”, it may be argued that the word “phenomena”, at least etymologically, stands for what appears, what can be seen. And if we restrict what can be seen to what can be seen without the use of instruments (such as various kinds of microscopes), then simply nothing at the nanoscale could be literally seen. Nanophenomena turn out to be an impossibility. However, once again, if phenomena are understood in the context of certain philosophical conceptions, they need not be tied directly only to what literally appears to our unaided eyes. Phenomena may stand for a certain cluster of events that are stable and regular enough to require some kind of explanation by our theories. Clearly, phenomena will involve something that can be seen: the items with respect to which our theories will be taken to be empirically adequate or not..|
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||No categories specified (fix it)|
|Through your library||Only published papers are available at libraries|
Similar books and articles
L. M. Vaina (1990). What and Where in the Human Visual System: Two Hierarchies of Visual Modules. Synthese 83 (1):49-91.
William P. Bechtel (forthcoming). The Epistemology of Evidence in Cognitive Neuroscience. In R. Skipper Jr, C. Allen, R. A. Ankeny, C. F. Craver, L. Darden, G. Mikkelson & and R. Richardson (eds.), Philosophy and the Life Sciences: A Reader. Mit Press.
Chris Pincock (2009). From Sunspots to the Southern Oscillation: Confirming Models of Large-Scale Phenomena in Meteorology. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 40 (1):45-56.
Robert Briscoe (2008). Another Look at the Two Visual Systems Hypothesis: The Argument From Illusion Studies. Journal of Consciousness Studies 15 (8):35-62.
Diego Fernandez-Duque & Ian Thornton (2000). Change Detection Without Awareness: Do Explicit Reports Underestimate the Representation of Change in the Visual System? Visual Cognition 7 (1):323-344.
G. K. Humphrey & Melvyn A. Goodale (1998). Probing Unconscious Visual Processing with the Mccollough Effect. Consciousness and Cognition 7 (3):494-519.
John Schwenkler (2012). Does Visual Spatial Awareness Require the Visual Awareness of Space? Mind and Language 27 (3):308-329.
Robert Briscoe (2009). Egocentric Spatial Representation in Action and Perception. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (2):423-460.
Brian J. Scholl & Yaoda Xu (2001). The Magical Number 4 in Vision. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (1):145-146.
Added to index2009-02-09
Total downloads12 ( #93,438 of 549,426 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #37,418 of 549,426 )
How can I increase my downloads?