On the Multiple Determination of Experimental Results

Edelstein Colloquium 2016-2017

3.5.2017, At the Edelstein Center 20:00

Klodian Coko, The Edelstein Center for History and Philosophy of Science, Technology and Medicine

On the Multiple Determination of Experimental Results

ABSTRACT: Multiple Determination is the epistemic strategy of establishing the same result by means of multiple and independent experimental procedures. It is a very important strategy often praised by both philosophers of science and practicing scientists. Despite the heavy appeal to the multiple determinations strategy, however, not much philosophical analysis has been provided regarding the specific grounds on which its epistemic virtues rest.

In this presentation, I distinguish between, what I call, the different structural dimensions of the multiple determination strategy. Further, I show how these distinctions: (a) can help in evaluating the epistemic force of the multiple determination strategy, as it is concretely employed in actual scientific research, (b) can solve the existing philosophical disagreements concerning the relevance and epistemic import of the multiple determination strategy for actual scientific practice, and (c) suggest a fruitful way of interaction between philosophy of science and (historical) accounts of scientific practice.