Authors
Samuel Schindler
Aarhus University
Abstract
The thesis of theory-ladenness of observations, in its various guises, is widely considered as either ill-conceived or harmless to the rationality of science. The latter view rests partly on the work of the proponents of New Experimentalism who have argued, among other things, that experimental practices are efficient in guarding against any epistemological threat posed by theory-ladenness. In this paper I show that one can generate a thesis of theory-ladenness for experimental practices from an influential New Experimentalist account. The notion I introduce for this purpose is the concept of ‘theory-driven data reliability judgments’, according to which theories which are sought to be tested with a particular set of data guide reliability judgments about those very same data. I provide various prominent historical examples to show that TDRs are used by scientists to resolve data conflicts. I argue that the rationality of the practices which employ TDRs can be saved if the independent support of the theories driving TDRs is construed in a particular way.
Keywords Theoretical virtues  Theory-ladenness  Experiment
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Reprint years 2013
DOI 10.1016/j.shpsa.2012.07.010
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References found in this work BETA

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Citations of this work BETA

What Counts as Scientific Data? A Relational Framework.Sabina Leonelli - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (5):810-821.
On the Limits of Experimental Knowledge.Peter Evans & Karim P. Y. Thebault - 2020 - Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences 378 (2177).
Novelty, Coherence, and Mendeleev’s Periodic Table.Samuel Schindler - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 45:62-69.
Perspectival Instruments.Ana-Maria Creţu - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science:1-31.

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