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Journal Article

Omitting Data: Ethical or Strategic Problem?

Jaakko Hintikka
Synthese
Vol. 145, No. 2, Candor in Science (Jun., 2005), pp. 169-176
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20118590
Page Count: 8
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Omitting Data: Ethical or Strategic Problem?
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Abstract

Omitting experimental data is often considered a violation of scientific integrity. If we consider experimental inquiry as a questioning process, omitting data is seen to be merely an example of tentatively rejecting ('bracketing') some of nature's answers. Such bracketing is not only occasionally permissible; sometimes it is mandated by optimal interrogative strategies. When to omit data is therefore a strategic rather than ethical question. These points are illustrated by reference to Milikan's oil drop experiment.

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