Inquiry 52 (1):1 – 25 (2009)
|Abstract||This paper develops a phenomenological defense of Ian Hacking's experimental realism about unobservable entities in physical science, employing historically undervalued resources from the phenomenological tradition in order to clarify the warrant for our ontological commitments in science. Building upon the work of Husserl, Merleau-Ponty and Heelan, the paper provides a phenomenological correction of the positivistic conception of perceptual evidence maintained by antirealists such as van Fraassen, the experimental relevance of which is illustrated through a phenomenological interpretation of the 1974 discovery of the J/ ψ particle generally regarded as evidence for the charmed quark. The argument then turns to address known problems in Hacking's account, demonstrating that his own instrumentalist criterion of the real is inadequately rooted in the phenomenology of perception, and as a result, passes over the true ontological significance of experimental phenomena. The paper maintains that the proper criterion, only indirectly related to instrumentality, is the distinctive style of the real encountered in perception: empirical pregnancy. With this notion and Merleau-Ponty's associated reversibility thesis, I show that the phenomenological tradition provides insights into the warrant for our realist commitments that have yet to be adequately acknowledged by philosophers of science.|
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
Mauricio Suarez, Experimental Realism Defended: How Inference to the Most Likely Cause Might Be Sound.
Michelle Sandell (2010). Astronomy and Experimentation. Techné 14 (3):252-269.
Shaun Gallagher & Jesper B. Sorensen (2006). Experimenting with Phenomenology. Consciousness and Cognition 15 (1):119-134.
Beata Stawarska (2009). Merleau-Ponty and Sartre in Response to Cognitive Studies of Facial Imitation. Philosophy Compass 4 (2):312-328.
Richard Reiner & Robert Pierson (1995). Hacking's Experimental Realism: An Untenable Middle Ground. Philosophy of Science 62 (1):60-69.
Patrick Joseph McDonald (2003). Demonstration by Simulation: The Philosophical Significance of Experiment in Helmholtz's Theory of Perception. Perspectives on Science 11 (2):170-207.
Mauricio Suárez, Experimental Realism Defended : How Inference to the Most Likely Cause Might Be Sound.
Sara Heinämaa (1999). Merleau-Ponty's Modification of Phenomenology: Cognition, Passion and Philosophy. Synthese 118 (1):49-68.
Alan G. Gross (1990). Reinventing Certainty: The Significance of Ian Hacking's Realism. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1990:421 - 431.
Shannon Vallor (2009). The Fantasy of Third-Person Science: Phenomenology, Ontology and Evidence. [REVIEW] Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 8 (1):1-15.
Added to index2009-02-22
Total downloads70 ( #15,011 of 722,750 )
Recent downloads (6 months)51 ( #1,118 of 722,750 )
How can I increase my downloads?