more from Stephen Boulter

Single Idea 22139

[catalogued under 14. Science / A. Basis of Science / 3. Experiment]

Full Idea

Experiments differ from observational studies in that experiments usually involve intervening in some way in the natural order to see if altering something about that order causes a change in the response of that order.

Gist of Idea

Experiments don't just observe; they look to see what interventions change the natural order


Stephen Boulter (Why Medieval Philosophy Matters [2019], 2)

Book Reference

Boulter,Stephen: 'Why Medieval Philosophy Matters' [Bloomsbury 2019], p.58

A Reaction

Not convinced by this. Lots of experiments isolate a natural process, rather than 'intervening'. Chemists constantly purify substances. Particle accelerators pick out things to accelerate. Does 'intervening' in nature even make sense?