Authors
Karim Thebault
University of Bristol
Peter W. Evans
University of Queensland
Abstract
To demarcate the limits of experimental knowledge, we probe the limits of what might be called an experiment. By appeal to examples of scientific practice from astrophysics and analogue gravity, we demonstrate that the reliability of knowledge regarding certain phenomena gained from an experiment is not circumscribed by the manipulability or accessibility of the target phenomena. Rather, the limits of experimental knowledge are set by the extent to which strategies for what we call ‘inductive triangulation’ are available: that is, the validation of the mode of inductive reasoning involved in the source-target inference via appeal to one or more distinct and independent modes of inductive reasoning. When such strategies are able to partially mitigate reasonable doubt, we can take a theory regarding the phenomena to be well supported by experiment. When such strategies are able to fully mitigate reasonable doubt, we can take a theory regarding the phenomena to be established by experiment. There are good reasons to expect the next generation of analogue experiments to provide genuine knowledge of unmanipulable and inaccessible phenomena such that the relevant theories can be understood as well supported. This article is part of a discussion meeting issue ‘The next generation of analogue gravity experiments’.
Keywords experimental knowledge  Hawking radiation   inductive triangulation  stellar nucleosynthesis,
Categories (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

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Fact, Fiction, and Forecast.Nelson Goodman - 1955 - Harvard University Press.

View all 49 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

What can bouncing oil droplets tell us about quantum mechanics?Peter W. Evans & Karim P. Y. Thébault - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (3):1-32.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Experimental Knowledge and the Theory of Producing It: Hermann von Helmholtz.Gregor Schiemann - 2008 - In U. Feest & G. Hon (eds.), Generating Experimental Knowledge. Max Planck Institute for the History of Science.
The Limits to Knowledge.Michael Johnson - 2016 - Culture and Dialogue 4 (1):143-151.
The Limits of Knowledge and the Limits of Science.José Bermejo - 2010 - Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Servizo de Publicacións E Intercambio.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2020-07-25

Total views
114 ( #83,254 of 2,367,993 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
114 ( #4,645 of 2,367,993 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes