Producing a robust body of data with a single technique

Philosophy of Science 77 (3):381-399 (2010)
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When a technique purports to provide information that is not available to the unaided senses, it is natural to think that the only way to validate that technique is by appealing to a theory of the processes that lead from the object of study to the raw data. In fact, scientists have a variety of strategies for validating their techniques. Those strategies can yield multiple independent arguments that support the validity of the technique. Thus, it is possible to produce a robust body of data with a single technique. I illustrate and support these claims with a historical case study. *Received September 2009; revised October 2009. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of History and Philosophy of Science, 1017 Cathedral of Learning, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260; e‐mail: [email protected]
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