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Entering New Fields: Exploratory Uses of Experimentation

Friedrich Steinle
Philosophy of Science
Vol. 64, Supplement. Proceedings of the 1996 Biennial Meetings of the Philosophy of Science Association. Part II: Symposia Papers (Dec., 1997), pp. S65-S74
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/188390
Page Count: 10
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Entering New Fields: Exploratory Uses of Experimentation
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Abstract

Starting with some illustrative examples, I develop a systematic account of a specific type of experimentation--an experimentation which is not, as in the "standard view", driven by specific theories. It is typically practiced in periods in which no theory or--even more fundamentally--no conceptual framework is readily available. I call it exploratory experimentation and I explicate its systematic guidelines. From the historical examples I argue furthermore that exploratory experimentation may have an immense, but hitherto widely neglected, epistemic significance.

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