The perils of Perrin, in the hands of philosophers

Philosophical Studies 143 (1):5 - 24 (2009)
The story of how Perrin’s experimental work established the reality of atoms and molecules has been a staple in (realist) philosophy of science writings (Wesley Salmon, Clark Glymour, Peter Achinstein, Penelope Maddy, …). I’ll argue that how this story is told distorts both what the work was and its significance, and draw morals for the understanding of how theories can be or fail to be empirically grounded.
Keywords Perrin  Atoms  Realism  Empiricism
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References found in this work BETA
Henk W. de Regt (1996). Philosophy and the Kinetic Theory of Gases. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47 (1):31-62.
Clark Glymour (1975). Relevant Evidence. Journal of Philosophy 72 (14):403-426.
Clark Glymour (1980). Theory and Evidence. Princeton University Press.

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