The Nature and Context of Exploratory Experimentation: An Introduction to Three Case Studies of Exploratory Research

Abstract
My aim in this article is to introduce readers to the topic of exploratory experimentation and briefly explain how the three articles that follow, by Richard Burian, Kevin Elliott, and Maureen O'Malley, advance our understanding of the nature and significance of exploratory research. I suggest that the distinction between exploratory and theory-driven experimentation is multidimensional and that some of the dimensions are continuums. I point out that exploratory experiments are typically theory-informed even if they are not theory-driven. I also distinguish between research programs and experiments. Research programs that are largely exploratory, such as the ones discussed in these case studies, can involve both exploratory and theory-driven experimentation
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Aaron D. Cobb (2012). Inductivism in Practice: Experiment in John Herschel's Philosophy of Science. Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 2 (1):21-54.
Chris Haufe (2013). Why Do Funding Agencies Favor Hypothesis Testing? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (3):363-374.
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