Experimental effects and causal representations

Synthese:1-32 (2017)
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In experimental settings, scientists often “make” new things, in which case the aim is to intervene in order to produce experimental objects and processes—characterized as ‘effects’. In this discussion, I illuminate an important performative function in measurement and experimentation in general: intervention-based experimental production (IEP). I argue that even though the goal of IEP is the production of new effects, it can be informative for causal details in scientific representations. Specifically, IEP can be informative about causal relations in: regularities under study; ‘intervention systems’, which are measurement/experimental systems; and new technological systems.
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