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Rip it up and start again: The rejection of a characterization of a phenomenon

Colaço, David (2018) Rip it up and start again: The rejection of a characterization of a phenomenon. [Preprint]

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Abstract

In this paper, I investigate the nature of empirical findings that provide evidence for the characterization of a scientific phenomenon, and the defeasible nature of this evidence. To do so, I explore an exemplary instance of the rejection of a characterization of a scientific phenomenon: memory transfer. I examine the reason why the characterization of memory transfer was rejected, and analyze how this rejection tied to researchers’ failures to resolve experimental issues relating to replication and confounds. I criticize the presentation of the case by Harry Collins and Trevor Pinch, who claim that no sufficient reason was provided to abandon research on memory transfer. I argue that skeptics about memory transfer adopted what I call a defeater strategy, in which researchers exploit the defeasibility of the evidence for a characterization of a phenomenon.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Colaço, David
Keywords: scientific phenomenon; evidence; defeasibility; memory transfer
Subjects: General Issues > Evidence
General Issues > Experimentation
General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
Specific Sciences > Neuroscience
Depositing User: David Colaço
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2020 20:06
Last Modified: 02 Mar 2020 20:06
Item ID: 16961
Official URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/...
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.shpsa.2018.04.003
Subjects: General Issues > Evidence
General Issues > Experimentation
General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
Specific Sciences > Neuroscience
Date: 2018
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/16961

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