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Dimensions of Observability

Peter Kosso
The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
Vol. 39, No. 4 (Dec., 1988), pp. 449-467
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/687432
Page Count: 19
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Dimensions of Observability
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Abstract

The concept of observability of entities in physical science is typically analysed in terms of the nature and significance of a dichotomy between observables and unobservables. In the present work, however, this categorization is resisted and observability is analysed in a descriptive way in terms of the information which one can receive through interaction with objects in the world. The account of interaction and the transfer of information is done using applicable scientific theories. In this way, the question of observability of scientific entities is put to science itself. The result is a demonstration that observability has many dimensions, some more epistemically significant than others.

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