|Abstract||Jim Bogen and James Woodward’s ‘Saving the Phenomena’, published only twenty years ago, has become a modern classic. Their centrepiece idea is a distinction between data and phenomena. According to them, data are typically the kind of things that are observable or measurable like “bubble chamber photographs, patterns of discharge in electronic particle detectors and records of reaction times and error rates in various psychological experiments” (p. 306). Phenomena are physical processes that are typically unobservable. Examples of the latter category include “weak neutral currents, the decay of the proton, and chunking and recency effects in human memory” (ibid.). Theories, in Bogen and Woodward’s view, are utilised to systematically explain and predict phenomena, not data (pp. 305-306). The relationship between theories and data is rather indirect. Data count as evidence for phenomena and the latter in turn count as evidence for theories. This view has been further elaborated in subsequent papers (see Bogen and Woodward 1992, 2005 and Woodward 1989) and is becoming increasingly influential (e.g. Prajit K. Basu 2003, Stathis Psillos 2004 and Mauricio Suárez 2005). In this paper I argue that in various significant and well-known cases theories accompanied with suitable auxiliary hypotheses are more proximal to observations than Bogen and Woodward would have us believe. This is especially true of cases involving novel predictions.|
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
|Through your library||Only published papers are available at libraries|
Similar books and articles
Benedikt Löwe & Thomas Müller (2011). Data and Phenomena in Conceptual Modelling. Synthese 182 (1):131-148.
Michela Massimi (2011). From Data to Phenomena: A Kantian Stance. Synthese 182 (1):101-116.
Ioannis Votsis (2011). Data Meet Theory: Up Close and Inferentially Personal. Synthese 182 (1):89 - 100.
James F. Woodward (2011). Data and Phenomena: A Restatement and Defense. Synthese 182 (1):165-179.
Bruce Glymour (2000). Data and Phenomena: A Distinction Reconsidered. [REVIEW] Erkenntnis 52 (1):29-37.
James W. McAllister (1997). Phenomena and Patterns in Data Sets. Erkenntnis 47 (2):217-228.
Jochen Apel (2011). On the Meaning and the Epistemological Relevance of the Notion of a Scientific Phenomenon. Synthese 182 (1):23-38.
Samuel Schindler (2011). Bogen and Woodward's Data-Phenomena Distinction, Forms of Theory-Ladenness, and the Reliability of Data. Synthese 182 (1):39-55.
Ioannis Votsis (forthcoming). Making Contact with Observations. EPSA Philosophical Issues in the Sciences, , vol. 2..
Added to index2009-12-28
Total downloads14 ( #90,504 of 722,863 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #60,917 of 722,863 )
How can I increase my downloads?