David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 33 (1):133-148 (2002)
Harry Collins' central argument about experimental practice revolves around the thesis that facts can only be generated by good instruments but good instruments can only be recognized as such if they produce facts. This is what Collins calls the experimenters' regress. For Collins, scientific controversies cannot be closed by the 'facts' themselves because there are no formal criteria independent of the outcome of the experiment that scientists can apply to decide whether an experimental apparatus works properly or not.No one seems to have noticed that the debate is in fact a rehearsal of the ancient philosophical debate about skepticism. The present article suggests that the way out of radical skepticism offered by the so-called mitigated skeptics is a solution to the problem of consensus formation in science.
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References found in this work BETA
H. M. Collins (1994). A Strong Confirmation of the Experimenters' Regress. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 25 (3):493-503.
H. M. Collins (1975). The Seven Sexes: A Study in the Sociology of a Phenomenon, or the Replication of Experiments in Physics. Sociology 9 (2):205.
Sylvia Culp (1995). Objectivity in Experimental Inquiry: Breaking Data-Technique Circles. Philosophy of Science 62 (3):438-458.
Peter Robert Dear (1984). Marin Mersenne and the Probabilistic Roots of "Mitigated Scepticism". Journal of the History of Philosophy 22 (2):173-205.
Allan Franklin (1994). How to Avoid the Experimenters' Regress. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 25 (3):463-491.
Citations of this work BETA
Yves Gingras (2007). Everything You Did Not Necessarily Want to Know About Gravitational Waves. And Why. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 38 (1):268-282.
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