David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 34 (2):351-368 (2003)
This paper attempts to argue for the theory-ladenness of evidence. It does so by employing and analysing an episode from the history of eighteenth century chemistry. It delineates attempts by Joseph Priestley and Antoine Lavoisier to construct entirely different kinds of evidence for and against a particular hypothesis from a set of agreed upon observations or (raw) data. Based on an augmented version of a distinction, drawn by J. Bogen and J. Woodward, between data and phenomena it is shown that the role of theoretical auxiliary assumptions is very important in constructing evidence for (or against) a theory from observation or (raw) data. In revolutionary situations, rival groups hold radically different theories and theoretical auxiliary assumptions. These are employed to construct very different evidence from the agreed upon set of observations or (raw) data. Hence, theory resolution becomes difficult. It is argued that evidence construction is a multi-layered exercise and can be disputed at any level. What counts as unproblematic observation or (raw) data at one level may become problematic at another level. The contingency of these constructions and the (un)problematic nature of evidence are shown to be partially dependent upon the scientific knowledge that the scientific community possesses.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
William F. Brewer & Bruce L. Lambert (2001). The Theory-Ladenness of Observation and the Theory-Ladenness of the Rest of the Scientific Process. Philosophy of Science 3 (September):S176-S186.
Peter Lipton (1990). Prediction and Prejudice. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 4 (1):51 – 65.
Eric S. Schliesser, Prophecy, Eclipses and Whole-Sale Markets: A Case Study on Why Data Driven Economic History Requires History of Economics, a Philosopher's Reflection.
Jaakko Hintikka (1992). Theory-Ladenness of Observations as a Test Case of Kuhn's Approach to Scientific Inquiry. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992:277 - 286.
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.
Prajit K. Basu (2003). Theory-Ladenness of Evidence: A Case Study From History of Chemistry. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 34 (2):351-368.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads20 ( #92,085 of 1,140,125 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #147,976 of 1,140,125 )
How can I increase my downloads?