Theory-laden experimentation

Abstract
The thesis of theory-ladenness of observations, in its various guises, is widely considered as either ill-conceived or harmless to the rationality of science. The latter view rests partly on the work of the proponents of New Experimentalism who have argued, among other things, that experimental practices are efficient in guarding against any epistemological threat posed by theory-ladenness. In this paper I show that one can generate a thesis of theory-ladenness for experimental practices from an influential New Experimentalist account. The notion I introduce for this purpose is the concept of ‘theory-driven data reliability judgments’ (TDR), according to which theories which are sought to be tested with a particular set of data guide reliability judgments about those very same data. I provide various prominent historical examples (among others, the confirmation of Einstein’s prediction of star light bending in 1919) to show that TDRs are used by scientists to resolve data conflicts. I argue that the rationality of the practices which employ TDRs can be saved if the independent support of the theories driving TDRs is construed in a particular way.
Keywords Theoretical virtues  Theory-ladenness  Experiment
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive Samuel Schindler, Theory-laden experimentation
External links
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
Jim Bogen, Theory and Observation in Science. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Jerry A. Fodor (1984). Observation Reconsidered. Philosophy of Science 51 (March):23-43.

View all 26 references

Citations of this work BETA
Samuel Schindler (2014). Novelty, Coherence, and Mendeleev's Periodic Table. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 45:62-69.
Similar books and articles
Michael A. Bishop (1992). Theory-Ladenness of Perception Arguments. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992:287 - 299.
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.
K. P. (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.
William B. Jones (1978). Theory-Ladenness and Theory Comparison. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1978:83 - 92.
Matthias Adam (2004). Why Worry About Theory-Dependence? Circularity, Minimal Empiricality and Reliability. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 18 (2 & 3):117 – 132.
Bjørn Hofmann (2002). Technological Medicine and the Autonomy of Man. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 5 (2):157-167.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2012-10-26

Total downloads

95 ( #13,484 of 1,099,963 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

28 ( #6,563 of 1,099,963 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.