Article ID: CBB253993764

Free-viewing as experimental system to test the Temporal Correlation Hypothesis: A case of theory-generative experimental practice (2020)


Theory-free characterizations of experimental systems miss normative and conceptual components that sometimes are crucial to understanding their historical development. In the following paper, we show that these components may be part of the intrinsic capacities of experimental systems themselves. We study a case of non-exploratory and theory-oriented research in experimental neuroscience that concerns the construction of free-viewing as an experimental system to test one particular pre-existing hypothesis, the Temporal Correlation Hypothesis (TCH), at a laboratory in Santiago de Chile, during 2002–2008. We show that the system does not take well-formulated pre-existing predictions or hypotheses to test them directly, but re-creates them and re-signifies them in terms that are not implied by the theoretical background from which they originally derived. Therefore, we conclude that there is a sui generis way in which experimental systems produce proper theoretical knowledge.

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Authors & Contributors
Boesch, Brandon
Thomas, Renny
Gita Chadha
Hardesty, Rebecca A.
Mayo, Lee Allen
Wylie, Caitlin Donahue
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
Transversal: International Journal for the Historiography of Science
Science and Education
Postcolonial Studies
University of Notre Dame
Prometheus Books
Taylor & Francis
Philosophy of science
Methodology of science; scientific method
Experiments and experimentation
Theory (philosophy)
Laboratory techniques and procedures
Newton, Isaac
Malacarne, Vincenzo
Bormann, Frederick Herbert
Time Periods
21st century
20th century, late
18th century
20th century
19th century
17th century
South Asia

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