On Philosophy of Scientific Experimentation (with news from PSX 4)
In this talk I am giving a review of several topics discussed in philosophy of scientific experimentation as well as of PSX 4 Conference I attended in April.
Firstly, I shortly discuss what is different in experiments in antiquity, Middle Ages, and Modern Times, and components of modern and contemporary experiments. Some history of philosophy of experimentation follows, from Duhem to recent projects. Secondly, questions contemporary philosophers in the field attempt to answer are sketched. My approach to dispute main positions involves discussion of connections between theory and experiment, theory ladenness, and epistemic strategies experimentalists use as formulated by the series of PSX Conferences. Thirdly, I focus in more or less detail on several talks given at the conference by participants who confronted the following problems: replicability and inductive logic (J. Norton), how simulations surprise us (E. Parke), calibration of animal models (N. Atanasova), simulaton as part of experimentation (M. Morrison). Finally, I shortly sketch the most impressing (to me) points in talks on equivalence principle test experiments, interventions in brain functions, machine learning, stem cell experimental uncertainities, role of biologists in biology, and simplicity in designs.