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Towards an Analysis of Scientific Observation: The Externality and Evidential Significance of Observational Reports in Physics

Towards an Analysis of Scientific Observation: The Externality and Evidential Significance of... In this paper a new schema for the analysis of scientific observation is proposed. The concepts of `externality' and `evidential' context of observational reports are introduced. The degree of externality of reports is shown to be related to the specificity of the evidential context. Attention is drawn to how the new concepts differ from traditional issues raised by the problem of the theory-ladenness of observations. The analysis is illustrated by reference to the detection of solar neutrinos and measurements of solar oblateness. Detailed studies of these cases reveal how the externality and evidential context shifts during the course of observational disputes. Some of the consequences of the new schema for the analysis of scientific language, access to experimental data, and black-box instrumentation are developed. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Social Studies of Science: An International Review of Research in the Social Dimensions of Science and Technology SAGE

Towards an Analysis of Scientific Observation: The Externality and Evidential Significance of Observational Reports in Physics

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References (20)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
Copyright © by SAGE Publications
ISSN
0306-3127
eISSN
1460-3659
DOI
10.1177/030631285015001001
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In this paper a new schema for the analysis of scientific observation is proposed. The concepts of `externality' and `evidential' context of observational reports are introduced. The degree of externality of reports is shown to be related to the specificity of the evidential context. Attention is drawn to how the new concepts differ from traditional issues raised by the problem of the theory-ladenness of observations. The analysis is illustrated by reference to the detection of solar neutrinos and measurements of solar oblateness. Detailed studies of these cases reveal how the externality and evidential context shifts during the course of observational disputes. Some of the consequences of the new schema for the analysis of scientific language, access to experimental data, and black-box instrumentation are developed.

Journal

Social Studies of Science: An International Review of Research in the Social Dimensions of Science and TechnologySAGE

Published: Feb 1, 1985

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