Journal article

Examining tensions in the past and present uses of concepts

Eden T Smith

Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A | ELSEVIER SCI LTD | Published : 2020


Examining tensions between the past and present uses of scientific concepts can help clarify their contributions as tools in experimental practices. This point can be illustrated by considering the concepts of mental imagery and hallucinations: despite debates over their respective referential reliabilities remaining unresolved within their interdependent histories, both are used as independently stable concepts in neuroimaging experiments. Building on an account of how these concepts function as tools structured for pursuit of diverging goals in experiments, this paper explores this tension by re-examining the continued reliance of each concept on inverse characterisations inherited from th..

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Funding Acknowledgements

Part of this research was supported by an Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship (Australian Postgraduate Award, 2014). Earlier versions of this paper were presented at the Seventh International Conference on Integrated History and Philosophy of Science (2018) and, by invitation from the Committee for Integrated HPS, at the 26th Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association (2018) in the Cognate Society Session on Methodologies of Integration. I am grateful for Hasok Chang's commentary and feedback during the Cognate Society Session. Similarly, this paper was strengthened by Martin Bush's stylistic suggestions on earlier drafts, and the constructive criticism provided by two anonymous reviewers. I also want to acknowledge that this research was conducted on lands of the Wurundjeri people, and that I am a beneficiary of how our colonial history continues to structure current inequitable practices.