You Can't Go Home Again - or Can you? 'Replication' Indeterminacy and 'Location' Incommensurability in Three Biological Re-Surveys

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Shavit, Ayelet
conference paper description
Reproducing empirical results and repeating experimental processes is fundamental to science, but is of grave concern to scientists. Revisiting the same location is necessary for tracking biological processes, yet I argue that ‘location’ and ‘replication’ contain a basic ambiguity. The analysis of the practical meanings of ‘replication’ and ‘location’ will strip of incommensurability from its common conflation with empirical equivalence, underdetermination and indeterminacy of reference. In particular, I argue that three biodiversity re-surveys, conducted by the research institutions of Harvard, Berkeley, and Hamaarag, all reveal incommensurability without indeterminacy in the smallest spatial scale, and indeterminacy without incommensurability in higher scales.