Humana Mente 13 (38) (2020)

Authors
Federico Boem
Università degli Studi di Milano
Abstract
The experimental practice in contemporary molecular biology oscillates between the creativity of the researcher in tinkering with the experimental system, and the necessity of standardization of methods of inquiry. Experimental procedures, when standardized in lab protocols, might definitely be seen as actual recipes. Considering these protocols as recipes can help us understand some epistemological characteristics of current practice in molecular biology. On the one hand, protocols represent a common ground, i.e. the possibility of reproducibility, which constitutes one of the essential properties for contemporary science to define an actual discovery. At the same time, however, protocols are flexible enough to be adapted by the individual researcher to his/her specific needs. These variations, just like the recipes, remind us that the legitimacy of an experimental practice, involves both objective and subjective constraints and it is articulated on a fuzzy background rather than a rigid and clear context. Moreover, looking at experiments according to this perspective can provide a key to understanding how different forms of science, such as computational biology, are precisely different in the use of a different “cookbook”.Indeed, given the procedural/operational realism of biologists towards phenomena, the clash of different procedures has opened a discussion also about the nature and the meaning of the obtained results. Thus, according to the recipe-perspective that, the methodological struggle over the nature of biological phenomena among scientists, might be seen as a not always explicit, epistemological debate, however coming from the practice of science itself.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,379
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

Thinking About Mechanisms.Peter Machamer, Lindley Darden & Carl F. Craver - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (1):1-25.
The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory.Pierre Maurice Marie Duhem - 1954 - Princeton: Princeton University Press.
The Scientific Image.William Demopoulos & Bas C. van Fraassen - 1982 - Philosophical Review 91 (4):603.

View all 20 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Philosophy of Experimental Biology.Marcel Weber - 2004 - Cambridge University Press.
Articulating the World: Experimental Systems and Conceptual Understanding.Joseph Rouse - 2011 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 25 (3):243 - 254.
Newton's "Experimental Philosophy".Alan Shapiro - 2002 - Early Science and Medicine 9 (3):185-217.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2021-02-04

Total views
12 ( #812,853 of 2,519,691 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #406,314 of 2,519,691 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes