Philosophy of Experiment

November 16, 2023 - November 17, 2023
Department of Philosophy, Stockholm University


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Tufts University
University of Haifa
Cambridge University
University of Belgrade
Saint Louis University


Stockholm University

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As part of Establishing the Nordic Network for Philosophy of Physics, a workshop on Philosophy of Experiment will be hosted at Stockholm University.

Empirical constraints are essential in scientific theory development and assessment, with experiment being the quintessential arbiter of science. However, in much of cutting-edge theoretical physics (especially high-energy physics, astrophysics and cosmology), conclusive experiments are hard to come by. The analysis of experimental results and the assessment of their epistemic significance has often come to rely on a multi-layered embedding in wider conceptual reasoning.  

Alongside traditional experiments in the laboratory setting, physics and cosmology also rely on astrophysical observations, which are essentially historical data, in constraining and testing their theories. More recently, analogue experiments—e.g., fluid models of `black holes’ built in the laboratory—have risen as possible means of confirming a theory. These bear an apparent similarity to simulation, and to material models.  

The workshop will aim at exploring different forms of experiment, empirical guides, and "quasi-empirical" guides in light of their relationship to theoretical virtues, non-empirical confirmation, and mathematical constraints (as developed in the previous two workshops in the series).

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University of Vienna (PhD)

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