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Perspectivism and the epistemology of experimentation: from the evaluation to the production of reliable experiments

Potters, Jan (2020) Perspectivism and the epistemology of experimentation: from the evaluation to the production of reliable experiments. [Preprint]

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Abstract

My aim in this paper is to propose a way to study the role of perspectives in the production and justification of experimental knowledge. My starting point for this will be Anjan Chakravartty’s claim that Ronald Giere’s perspectival account of the role of instruments in the production of such claims entails relativism in the form of irreducibly incompatible truths. This led Michela Massimi to argue that perspectivism, insofar as it wants to form a realist position, is only concerned with the justification of such claims: whether they are produced reliably is, on her view, a perspective-independent fact of the matter. Following a suggestion by Giere on how scientists handle incompatible results, I will then argue that Massimi’s perspectivism can be extended to also cover the production of such claims, without falling into relativism. I will elaborate this suggestion by means of Uljana Feest’s work on how scientists handle incompatible experimental results. I will argue that, if we reconceptualize perspectives as embodied and situated ways of going about in experimentation that can be made explicit through interpretation, we can obtain a fruitful understanding of the role of perspectives in both the production and justification of experimental knowledge. While this role is primarily exploratory, it can still allow for a substantial form of realism.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Potters, JanJan.Potters@UAntwerpen.be0000-0002-5292-5369
Keywords: Perspectivism; Realism; Experimentation; Experimenters’ Regress; Scientific Practice
Subjects: General Issues > Experimentation
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Depositing User: Dr. Jan Potters
Date Deposited: 26 Mar 2020 03:58
Last Modified: 26 Mar 2020 03:58
Item ID: 17026
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1007/s13194-020-00289-7
Subjects: General Issues > Experimentation
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Date: 2020
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/17026

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