Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 1 (2):209-226 (2011)
Experiments may not reveal their full import at the time that they are performed. The scientists who perform them usually are testing a specific hypothesis and quite often have specific expectations limiting the possible inferences that can be drawn from the experiment. Nonetheless, as Hacking has said, experiments have lives of their own. Those lives do not end with the initial report of the results and consequences of the experiment. Going back and rethinking the consequences of the experiment in a new context, theoretical or empirical, has great merit as a strategy for investigation and for scientific problem analysis. I apply this analysis to the interplay between Fizeau's classic optical experiments and the building of special relativity. Einstein's understanding of the problems facing classical electrodynamics and optics, in part, was informed by Fizeau's 1851 experiments. However, between 1851 and 1905, Fizeau's experiments were duplicated and reinterpreted by a succession of scientists, including Hertz, Lorentz, and Michelson. Einstein's analysis of the consequences of the experiments is tied closely to this theoretical and experimental tradition. However, Einstein's own inferences from the experiments differ greatly from the inferences drawn by others in that tradition.
|Keywords||experiment einstein fizeau optics electrodynamics|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
Einstein, Michelson, and the "Crucial" Experiment.Gerald Holton - 1969 - Isis: A Journal of the History of Science 60:132-197.
Citations of this work BETA
Introduction: Historiography and the Philosophy of the Sciences.Robin Findlay Hendry & Ian James Kidd - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 55:1-2.
Similar books and articles
Discovering the Relativity of Simultaneity How Did Einstein Take "the Step"?John D. Norton - unknown
An Epistemology of Causal Inference From Experiment.Karen R. Zwier - 2013 - Philosophy of Science 80 (5):660-671.
Why Thought Experiments Are Not Arguments.Michael A. Bishop - 1999 - Philosophy of Science 66 (4):534-541.
Behavioral Experiments: How and What Can We Learn About Human Behavior.Ana C. Santos - 2009 - Journal of Economic Methodology 16 (1):71-88.
The Interpretation of the Einstein-Rupp Experiments and Their Influence on the History of Quantum Mechanics.Jeroen van Dongen - 2007 - Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences 37:121-131.
Empirical Thought Experiments: A Trascendental-Operational View.Buzzoni Marco - 2010 - Epistemologia. An Italian Journal for the Philosophy of Science 33:05-26.
Intuition Pumps and the Proper Use of Thought Experiments.Elke Brendel - 2004 - Dialectica 58 (1):89–108.
Do Thought Experiments Have a Life of Their Own? Comments on James Brown, Nancy Nersessian and David Gooding.Ian Hacking - 1992 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992:302 - 308.
The Body, Thought Experiments, and Phenomenology.Yiftach J. H. Fehige & Harald Wiltsche - 2012 - In Thought Experiments in Philosophy, Science, and the Arts.
Added to index2011-09-29
Total downloads106 ( #45,514 of 2,153,481 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #225,532 of 2,153,481 )
How can I increase my downloads?