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Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia

Volume 17, Issue 2, Mayo 2002

Allan Franklin
Pages 221-242

Fisica y Experimentacion

In this paper I examine the roles that experiment plays in science. Experiment can test theories, but it can also call for a new theory. Experiment can also provide hints about the mathematical form of a theory. Likewise it can provide evidence for the existence of the entities involved in our theories. Finally, it may also have a life of its own, independent of theory. I will illustrate these roles using episodes from the history of contemporary physics. I will also discuss an epistemology of experiment, a set of strategies that provides grounds for reasonable belief in experimental results.

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