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Abstract
Harry Collins' central argument about experimental practice revolves around the thesis that facts can only be generated by good instruments but good instruments can only be recognized as such if they produce facts. This is what Collins calls the experimenters' regress. For Collins, scientific controversies cannot be closed by the ‘facts’ themselves because there are no formal criteria independent of the outcome of the experiment that scientists can apply to decide whether an experimental apparatus works properly or not.No one seems to have noticed that the debate is in fact a rehearsal of the ancient philosophical debate about skepticism. The present article suggests that the way out of radical skepticism offered by the so-called mitigated skeptics is a solution to the problem of consensus formation in science.Keywords: Argumentation; Skepticism; Sociology of science; Philosophy of science; Scientific controversies.
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DOI 10.1016/s0039-3681(01)00032-2
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References found in this work BETA

Conjectures and Refutations.K. Popper - 1963 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 21 (3):431-434.
The Logic of Scientific Discovery.Karl Popper - 1959 - Studia Logica 9:262-265.
Logic and Conversation.H. Paul Grice - 1975 - In Maite Ezcurdia & Robert J. Stainton (eds.), The Semantics-Pragmatics Boundary in Philosophy. Broadview Press. pp. 47.
The Logic of Scientific Discovery.K. Popper - 1959 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 10 (37):55-57.

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Citations of this work BETA

Everything You Did Not Necessarily Want to Know About Gravitational Waves. And Why.Yves Gingras - 2007 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 38 (1):268-282.
Fresnel's Laws, Ceteris Paribus.Aaron Sidney Wright - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 64:38-52.

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