Philosophy of Scientific Experimentation 4 (PSX4)

April 11-12, 2014, Pittsburg, PA, United States

Experiments play essential roles in science. Philosophers of science have emphasized their role in the testing of theories but they also play other important roles. They are, for example, essential in exploring new phenomenological realms and discovering new effects and phenomena. Nevertheless, experiments are still an underrepresented topic in mainstream philosophy of science.

This conference on the philosophy of scientific experimentation, the fourth in a series, is intended to give a home to philosophical interests in, and concerns about, experiment. Among the questions that will be discussed are the following: How is experimental practice organized, around theories or around something else? How independent is experimentation from theories? Does it have a life of its own? Can experiments undermine the threat posed to the objectivity of science by the thesis of theory-ladenness, underdetermination, or the Duhem-Quine thesis? What are the important similarities and differences between experiments in different sciences? What are the experimental strategies scientists use for making sure that their experiments work correctly? How are phenomena discovered or created in the laboratory? Is experimental knowledge epistemically more secure than observational knowledge? Can experiments give us good reasons for belief in theoretical entities? What role do computer simulations play in the assessment of experimental background? How trustworthy are they? Do they warrant the same kind of inferences as experimental knowledge? Are they theory by other means?

Keynote Speakers

Paula Grabowski (University of Pittsburgh)
Andrea Loettgers (University of Geneva)
Margaret Morrison (University of Toronto)
Paolo Palmieri (University of Pittsburgh)

Organizing Committee

Allan Franklin, Chair (University of Colorado Boulder;
Deborah Mayo (Virginia Tech;
John Norton (University of Pittsburgh;
Wendy Parker (Ohio University; Durham University;
Slobodan Perovic (University of Belgrade;
Samuel Schindler (Aarhus University;
Marcel Weber (University of Geneva;

Posted: February 10, 2014