Theory-Ladenness of Observation in the Experimental Context

Publication Year:
Usage 351
Downloads 351
Repository URL:
Perovic, Slobodan
preprint description
Focusing on the discovery of weak currents, the current debate on the theory-ladenness of observation in modern physics might be too narrow, as it concerns only the last stage of a complex experimental process and statistical methods required to analyze data. The scope of the debate should be extended to include broader experimental conditions that concern the design of the apparatus and different levels of the detection process. These neglected conditions often decisively delimit experiments long before the last stage has been reached, thus predetermining the extent of the dependence of data production on the theory. I explain the nature of these conditions and the theory-ladenness tendencies they produce, noting how they affect the last stage of the data analysis and providing some relevant examples.