David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
HOPOS 1 (2):209-226 (2011)
Experiments may not reveal their full import at the time that they are performed. The scientists who perform them usually are testing a specific hypothesis and quite often have specific expectations limiting the possible inferences that can be drawn from the experiment. Nonetheless, as Hacking has said, experiments have lives of their own. Those lives do not end with the initial report of the results and consequences of the experiment. Going back and rethinking the consequences of the experiment in a new context, theoretical or empirical, has great merit as a strategy for investigation and for scientific problem analysis. I apply this analysis to the interplay between Fizeau's classic optical experiments and the building of special relativity. Einstein's understanding of the problems facing classical electrodynamics and optics, in part, was informed by Fizeau's 1851 experiments. However, between 1851 and 1905, Fizeau's experiments were duplicated and reinterpreted by a succession of scientists, including Hertz, Lorentz, and Michelson. Einstein's analysis of the consequences of the experiments is tied closely to this theoretical and experimental tradition. However, Einstein's own inferences from the experiments differ greatly from the inferences drawn by others in that tradition.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Karen R. Zwier (2014). An Epistemology of Causal Inference From Experiment. Philosophy of Science 80 (5):660-671.
Michael A. Bishop (1999). Why Thought Experiments Are Not Arguments. Philosophy of Science 66 (4):534-541.
Ana C. Santos (2009). Behavioral Experiments: How and What Can We Learn About Human Behavior. Journal of Economic Methodology 16 (1):71-88.
Jeroen van Dongen, The Interpretation of the Einstein-Rupp Experiments and Their Influence on the History of Quantum Mechanics.
Alisa Bokulich (2001). Rethinking Thought Experiments. Perspectives on Science 9 (3):285-307.
Elke Brendel (2004). Intuition Pumps and the Proper Use of Thought Experiments. Dialectica 58 (1):89–108.
Ian Hacking (1992). Do Thought Experiments Have a Life of Their Own? Comments on James Brown, Nancy Nersessian and David Gooding. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992:302 - 308.
Marisa Velasco (2002). Experimentacion y Tecnicas Computacionales. Theoria 17 (2):317-331.
Denny Borsboom, Gideon J. Mellenbergh & Jaap van Heerden (2002). Functional Thought Experiments. Synthese 130 (3):379 - 387.
Yiftach J. H. Fehige & Harald Wiltsche (2012). The Body, Thought Experiments, and Phenomenology. In Thought Experiments in Philosophy, Science, and the Arts.
D. C. Gooding & T. R. Addis (2008). Modelling Experiments as Mediating Models. Foundations of Science 13 (1):17-35.
Added to index2011-09-29
Total downloads35 ( #41,670 of 1,088,818 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #24,213 of 1,088,818 )
How can I increase my downloads?