Synopses & Reviews
Since the late 1980s, the neglect of experiment by philosophers and historians of science has been replaced by a keen interest in the subject. In this volume, a number of prominent philosophers of experiment directly address basic theoretical questions, develop existing philosophical accounts, and offer novel perspectives on the subject, rather than rely exclusively on historical cases of experimental practice.
Each essay examines one or more of six interconnected themes that run throughout the collection: the philosophical implications of actively and intentionally interfering with the material world while conducting experiments; issues of interpretation regarding causality; the link between science and technology; the role of theory in experimentation involving material and causal intervention; the impact of modeling and computer simulation on experimentation; and the philosophical implications of the design, operation, and use of scientific instruments.
"There are more issues, examples, and lessons for epistemologists in the study of scientific experimentation than are dreamt of in empiricist, pragmatist, post modernist, and other popular philosophies. This volume is an excellent place to find out about them. Several of its papers deserve to become classics—not just in philosophy of science, but in epistemology."
--Jim Bogen, University of Pittsburgh Center for Philosophy of Science
Includes bibliographical references (p. 285-301) and index.
Table of Contents
Toward a more developed philosophy of scientific experimentation / Hans Radder -- The materiality of instruments in a metaphysics for experiments / Rom Harrâe -- Thing knowledge: outline of a materialist theory of knowledge / Davis Baird -- Physics, experiments, and the concept of nature / Peter Kroes -- Experimentation, causal inference, and instrumental realism / Jim Woodward -- Technology as basis and object of experimental practices / Rainer Lange -- Theory-ladenness and scientific instruments in experimentation / Michael Heidelberger -- Technology and theory in experimental science / Hans Radder -- The idols of experiment: transcending the "etc. list" / Giora Hon -- Models, simulation, and "computer experiments" / Evelyn Fox Keller -- Experiments without material intervention: model experiments, virtual experiments, and virtually experiments / Mary S. Morgan -- Designing instruments and the design of nature / Daniel Rothbart -- Varying the cognitive span: experimentation, visualization, and computation / David Gooding.