Philosophy of Science 66 (2):289-309 (1999)

Culp (1994) provides a defense for a form of experimental reasoning entitled 'robustness'. Her strategy is to examine a recent episode in experimental microbiology--the case of the mistaken discovery of a bacterial organelle called a 'mesosome'--with an eye to showing how experimenters effectively used robust experimental reasoning (or could have used robust reasoning) to refute the existence of the mesosome. My plan is to criticize Culp's assessment of the mesosome episode and to cast doubt on the epistemic significance of robustness. In turn, I present a different account of the experimental reasoning microbiologists used in arriving at the conclusion that mesosomes are artifacts. I call this form of reasoning 'reliable process reasoning', and close the paper with a brief discussion of how experimental microbiologists justify the claim that an experimental process is reliable
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DOI 10.1086/392689
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References found in this work BETA

Facts, Artifacts, and Mesosomes: Practicing Epistemology with the Electron Microscope.Nicolas Rasmussen - 1993 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 24 (2):227-265.
Background Independence and the Causation of Observations.Robert G. Hudson - 1994 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 25 (4):595-612.

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Citations of this work BETA

Robustness, Discordance, and Relevance.Jacob Stegenga - 2009 - Philosophy of Science 76 (5):650-661.
Robustness and Independent Evidence.Jacob Stegenga & Tarun Menon - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (3):414-435.
Robust Evidence and Secure Evidence Claims.Kent W. Staley - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (4):467-488.

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Reasoning Strategies in Molecular Biology: Abstractions, Scans and Anomalies.Lindley Darden & Michael Cook - 1994 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1994:179 - 191.
Defending Robustness: The Bacterial Mesosome as a Test Case.Sylvia Culp - 1994 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1994:46 - 57.


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