Doing science, writing science

Philosophy of Science 75 (3):323-343 (2008)
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Abstract

This article identifies a fundamental distinction in scientific practice: the mismatch between what scientists do and what they state they did when they communicate their findings in their publications. The insight that such a mismatch exists is not new. It was already implied in Hans Reichenbach's distinction between the contexts of discovery and justification, and it is taken for granted across the board in philosophy of science and science studies. But while there is general agreement that the mismatch exists, the epistemological implications of that mismatch are not at all clear. Philosophers, historians, and sociologists of different stripes have expressed widely different views about how one should understand and interpret the relation between what scientists do and what they state they did. This article surveys a number of approaches to the mismatch. Based on this survey, I offer an assessment of the epistemological significance of the mismatch and identify the major meta-epistemological challenges that it poses for the analysis of scientific practice. *Received May 2007; revised April 2008. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of History and Philosophy of Science, 1011 East Third Street, Goodbody Hall 130, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405; e-mail: [email protected].

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Jutta Schickore
Indiana University, Bloomington

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