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How Practical Know-how Contextualizes Theoretical Knowledge: Exporting Causal Knowledge from Laboratory to Nature

Waters, C. Kenneth (2006) How Practical Know-how Contextualizes Theoretical Knowledge: Exporting Causal Knowledge from Laboratory to Nature. [Preprint]

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    Abstract

    Leading philosophical accounts of classical genetics presume that Morgan’s transmission theory can be understood independently of experimental practices. Experimentation is taken to be relevant to confirming, rather than interpreting, the transmission theory. But the construction of Morgan’s theory went hand-in-hand with the reconstruction of the chief experimental object, the model organism, Drosophila melanogaster. This raises an important question about theoretical knowledge gained in laboratory settings: when a theory (such as the theory of classical genetics) is constructed to account for phenomena in a carefully controlled laboratory setting, what knowledge, if any, indicates the theory’s relevance or applicability to phenomena outside highly-controlled settings? The answer, I argue, is found within the procedural knowledge embedded within laboratory practice.


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    Item Type: Preprint
    Keywords: theory, practice, experimentation, classical genetics, cause, exportation, extrapolation
    Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Molecular Biology/Genetics
    General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
    General Issues > Experimentation
    Depositing User: C. Kenneth Waters
    Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2008
    Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 11:16
    Item ID: 3849
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/3849

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