The scientific use of technological instruments

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One of the most obvious ways in which the natural sciences depend on technology is through the use of instruments. This chapter presents a philosophical analysis of the role of technological instruments in science. Two roles of technological instruments in scientific practices are distinguished: their role in discovering and proving scientific theories, and their role in generating and investigating new physical phenomena that are of technological relevance. Most of the philosophy of science is theory-oriented and therefore tends to ignore the importance of producing and investigating physical phenomena in current scientific practices. This chapter selectively chooses some recent trends in the philosophy of science that relate to the role of technological instruments in order to indicate the potential for philosophical accounts of scientific practices that productively integrate the two roles of technological instruments.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Role of Technology in Science: Philosophical Perspectives
EditorsSven Ove Hansson
Number of pages258
ISBN (Print)978-94-017-9761-0
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Publication series

NamePhilosophy of Engineering and Technology


  • IR-95169
  • METIS-310057


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