Testing as a bootstrap operation in physics

Science uses its firmest conclusions to arrive at new ones which may well completely destroy these, previously firmest, conclusions. The perceptive may notice that when the previously firmest conclusions are demolished we may remain in the dark with no conclusion worth replacing it with. But only when we replace it with a firmer conclusion can we speak of a bootstrap operation rather than of a refutations. Often, to conclude, the ad hoc nature of a fact-like statement is rooted in the theoretical background against which it is couched; given a different theoretical background and it fully falls into place, as the expression goes. If an observation report is at once a corollary of our scientific theory, then it is unproblematic. If it conflicts with our scientific theory, either we reject the theory or try to find an excuse for not rejecting it. When, however, a small theory which well integrates in our theoretical background is attacked by a well corroborated fact-like theory and all its defences are refuted, then a revolution may be under way. Such events may be rare, but they are the more interesting ones. At times we alter our whole theoretical outlook around a rather fact-like theory which then gets refuted. We then look silly from any viewpoint except that which takes the process to be a bootstrap operation!
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/BF01801062
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,433
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

48 ( #101,425 of 1,925,076 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

10 ( #88,419 of 1,925,076 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.