David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1986:180 - 195 (1986)
By 1900 most biologists accepted experimentation as appropriate for at least parts of biology. Some claimed experimentation as the best or only proper approach to biology, while others regarded it as an acceptable addition to existing methodologies. Different researchers defined experimentation in different ways, and they held different aspirations for their experimental programs. This paper explores three sets of ideas, represented respectively by the French in the 1870s, the Germans in the 1880s, and the Americans in the 1890s. It examines what an experiment was thought to be, what experimentation was, and what the goals of experimentation were for each group, revealing suggestive differences.
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