David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Synthese 89 (1):111 - 133 (1991)
Assuming an essential difference between scientific data and phenomena, this paper argues for the view that we have to understand how empirical findings get transformed into scientific phenomena. The work of scientists is seen as largely consisting in constructing these phenomena which are then utilized in more abstract theories. It is claimed that these matters are of importance for discussions of theory choice and progress in science. A case study is presented as a starting point: paleomagnetism and the use of paleomagnetic data in early discussions of continental drift. Some general features of this study are presented in formalized language. It is suggested that the presentation given is particularly suited for a semantic conception of theories. Even though the construction of scientific phenomena is the main topic of this paper, the view presented here is more adapted to realism than social constructivism.
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References found in this work BETA
Clark Glymour (1980). Theory and Evidence. Princeton University Press.
Frederick Suppe (1989). The Semantic Conception of Theories and Scientific Realism. University of Illinois Press.
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Jim Woodward (1989). Data and Phenomena. Synthese 79 (3):393 - 472.
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Citations of this work BETA
O. Bueno (1997). Empirical Adequacy: A Partial Structures Approach. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 28 (4):585-610.
Mauricio Suárez & Nancy Cartwright (2007). Theories: Tools Versus Models. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 39 (1):62-81.
James F. Woodward (2011). Data and Phenomena: A Restatement and Defense. Synthese 182 (1):165-179.
Samuel Schindler (2007). Rehabilitating Theory: Refusal of the 'Bottom-Up' Construction of Scientific Phenomena. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 38 (1):160-184.
Otávio Bueno, Steven French & James Ladyman (2012). Models and Structures: Phenomenological and Partial. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 43 (1):43-46.
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