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  1. The Strong and Weak Senses of Theory-Ladenness of Experimentation: Theory-Driven Versus Exploratory Experiments in the History of High-Energy Particle Physics.Koray Karaca - 2013 - Science in Context 26 (1):93-136.
    In the theory-dominated view of scientific experimentation, all relations of theory and experiment are taken on a par; namely, that experiments are performed solely to ascertain the conclusions of scientific theories. As a result, different aspects of experimentation and of the relation of theory to experiment remain undifferentiated. This in turn fosters a notion of theory-ladenness of experimentation that is too coarse-grained to accurately describe the relations of theory and experiment in scientific practice. By contrast, in this article, I suggest (...)
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  • Selection Does Not Operate Primarily on Genes.Richard Burian - 2008 - In Francisco José Ayala & Robert Arp (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Biology. Wiley-Blackwell.
    This chapter offers a review of standard views about the requirements for natural selection to shape evolution and for the sorts of ‘units’ on which selection might operate. It then summarizes traditional arguments for genic selectionism, i.e., the view that selection operates primarily on genes (e.g., those of G. C. Williams, Richard Dawkins, and David Hull) and traditional counterarguments (e.g., those of William Wimsatt, Richard Lewontin, and Elliott Sober, and a diffuse group based on life history strategies). It then offers (...)
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  • On MicroRNA and the Need for Exploratory Experimentation in Post-Genomic Molecular Biology.Richard M. Burian - 2007 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 29 (3):285 - 311.
    This paper is devoted to an examination of the discovery, characterization, and analysis of the functions of microRNAs, which also serves as a vehicle for demonstrating the importance of exploratory experimentation in current (post-genomic) molecular biology. The material on microRNAs is important in its own right: it provides important insight into the extreme complexity of regulatory networks involving components made of DNA, RNA, and protein. These networks play a central role in regulating development of multicellular organisms and illustrate the importance (...)
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  • A New Account of Replication in the Experimental Life Sciences.Stephan Guttinger - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science.
    The natural sciences are in the midst of a reproducibility crisis. Scientists don’t replicate existing data and when they attempt to do so they often fail. Nevertheless, survey data shows that scientists largely trust the non-replicated data they are using. The question of why this is so has not been raised in the debate about the reproducibility crisis. Here I will claim that one reason for this trust is a hitherto unidentified form of replication, which I will call ‘micro-replications’. Using (...)
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  • Rethinking the Role of Theory in Exploratory Experimentation.David Colaço - 2018 - Biology and Philosophy 33 (5-6):38.
    To explain their role in discovery and contrast them with theory-driven research, philosophers of science have characterized exploratory experiments in terms of what they lack: namely, that they lack direction from what have been called “local theories” of the target system or object under investigation. I argue that this is incorrect: it’s not whether or not there is direction from a local theory that matters, but instead how such a theory is used to direct an experiment that matters. Appealing to (...)
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  • Models in Search of Targets: Exploratory Modelling and the Case of Turing Patterns.Axel Gelfert - 2018 - In A. Christian, David Hommen, N. Retzlaff & Gerhard Schurz (eds.), Philosophy of Science. European Studies in Philosophy of Science, vol 9. Springer International Publishing. pp. 245-269.
    Traditional frameworks for evaluating scientific models have tended to downplay their exploratory function; instead they emphasize how models are inherently intended for specific phenomena and are to be judged by their ability to predict, reproduce, or explain empirical observations. By contrast, this paper argues that exploration should stand alongside explanation, prediction, and representation as a core function of scientific models. Thus, models often serve as starting points for future inquiry, as proofs of principle, as sources of potential explanations, and as (...)
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  • Inductivism in Practice: Experiment in John Herschel’s Philosophy of Science.Aaron D. Cobb - 2012 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 2 (1):21-54.
  • “Exploratory Experimentation” as a Probe Into the Relation Between Historiography and Philosophy of Science.Jutta Schickore - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 55:20-26.
  • The Janus Head of Bachelard’s Phenomenotechnique: From Purification to Proliferation and Back.Massimiliano Simons - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 8 (3):689-707.
    The work of Gaston Bachelard is known for two crucial concepts, that of the epistemological rupture and that of phenomenotechnique. A crucial question is, however, how these two concepts relate to one another. Are they in fact essentially connected or must they be seen as two separate elements of Bachelard’s thinking? This paper aims to analyse the relation between these two Bachelardian moments and the significance of the concept of phenomenotechnique for today. This will be done by examining how the (...)
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  • From Genetic to Genomic Regulation: Iterativity in microRNA Research.Maureen A. O’Malley, Kevin C. Elliott & Richard M. Burian - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 41 (4):407-417.
    The discovery and ongoing investigation of microRNAs suggest important conceptual and methodological lessons for philosophers and historians of biology. This paper provides an account of miRNA research and the shift from viewing these tiny regulatory entities as minor curiosities to seeing them as major players in the post-transcriptional regulation of genes. Conceptually, the study of miRNAs is part of a broader change in understandings of genetic regulation, in which simple switch-like mechanisms were reinterpreted as aspects of complex cellular and genome-wide (...)
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  • Convenience Experimentation.Ulrich Krohs - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 43 (1):52-57.
  • Epistemic and Methodological Iteration in Scientific Research.Kevin C. Elliott - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 43 (2):376-382.
    A number of scholars have recently drawn attention to the importance of iteration in scientific research. This paper builds on these previous discussions by drawing a distinction between epistemic and methodological forms of iteration and by clarifying the relationships between them. As defined here, epistemic iteration involves progressive alterations to scientific knowledge claims, whereas methodological iteration refers to an interplay between different modes of research practice. While distinct, these two forms of iteration are related in important ways. Contemporary research on (...)
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  • Why Do Funding Agencies Favor Hypothesis Testing?Chris Haufe - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (3):363-374.
    Exploratory inquiry has difficulty attracting research funding because funding agencies have little sense of how to detect good science in exploratory contexts. After documenting and explaining the focus on hypothesis testing among a variety of institutions responsible for distinguishing between good and bad science, I analyze the NIH grant review process. I argue that a good explanation for the focus on hypothesis testing—at least at the level of science funding agencies—is the fact that hypothesis-driven research is relatively easy to appraise. (...)
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  • Evidence in Biology and the Conditions of Success.Jacob Stegenga - 2013 - Biology and Philosophy 28 (6):981-1004.
    I describe two traditions of philosophical accounts of evidence: one characterizes the notion in terms of signs of success, the other characterizes the notion in terms of conditions of success. The best examples of the former rely on the probability calculus, and have the virtues of generality and theoretical simplicity. The best examples of the latter describe the features of evidence which scientists appeal to in practice, which include general features of methods, such as quality and relevance, and general features (...)
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