more from Reiss,J/Spreger,J

Single Idea 22357

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

Full Idea

The 'experimenter's regress' says that to know whether a result is correct, one needs to know whether the apparatus is reliable. But one doesn't know whether the apparatus is reliable unless one knows that it produces correct results ...and so on.

Gist of Idea

The 'experimenter's regress' says success needs reliability, which is only tested by success


Reiss,J/Spreger,J (Scientific Objectivity [2014], 2.3)

Book Reference

'Stanford Online Encyclopaedia of Philosophy', ed/tr. Stanford University [], p.6

A Reaction

[H. Collins (1985), a sociologist] I take this to be a case of the triumphant discovery of a vicious circle which destroys all knowledge turning out to be a benign circle. We build up a coherent relationship between reliable results and good apparatus.