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The New Experimentalism, Topical Hypotheses, and Learning from Error

Deborah G. Mayo
PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association
Vol. 1994, Volume One: Contributed Papers (1994), pp. 270-279
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/193032
Page Count: 10
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The New Experimentalism, Topical Hypotheses, and Learning from Error
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Abstract

An important theme to have emerged from the new experimentalist movement is that much of actual scientific practice deals not with appraising full-blown theories but with the manifold local tasks required to arrive at data, distinguish fact from artifact, and estimate backgrounds. Still, no program for working out a philosophy of experiment based on this recognition has been demarcated. I suggest why the new experimentalism has come up short, and propose a remedy appealing to the practice of standard error statistics. I illustrate a portion of my proposal using Galison's (1987) experimental narrative on neutral currents.

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