2018年08月10日 に初出の投稿

Last modified: 2018-08-10 17:36:44

Experimentation is traditionally considered a privileged means of confirmation. However, how experiments are a better confirmatory source than other strategies is unclear, and recent discussions have identified experiments with various modeling strategies on the one hand, and with ‘natural’ experiments on the other hand. We argue that experiments aiming to test theories are best understood as controlled investigations of specimens. ‘Control’ involves repeated, fine-grained causal manipulation of focal properties. This capacity generates rich knowledge of the object investigated. ‘Specimenhood’ involves possessing relevant properties given the investigative target and the hypothesis in question. Specimens are thus representative members of a class of systems, to which a hypothesis refers. It is in virtue of both control and specimenhood that experiments provide powerful confirmatory evidence. This explains the distinctive power of experiments: although modellers exert extensive control, they do not exert this control over specimens; although natural experiments utilize specimens, control is diminished.

Why Experiments Matter

内容についての是非はともかくとして、切り口は非常にいいと思うんだよね。科学哲学の教科書とかを見ても、いきなり confirmation theory を説き始めたりするものがあって、本当に哲学をやってきた人なのかなって思うことがある。

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