Header image

The Laboratory

The workshop will take place at UdK University of the Arts Berlin,
Hardenbergstraße 33
10623 Berlin

“Recent studies have made it clear that in order to account for the great variety of existing epistemic practices, several different several levels of theorizing are required. Experiments are only possible by virtue of the fact that scientists rely on certain instruments, procedures, and concepts that are taken as unproblematic. At the same time, experimental practices and scientific conceptualizations are constantly fine-tuned to each other as the experimental process unfolds. Focusing on these processes, a specific type of experimentation becomes visible: Such “explorative” experiments are not designed to test scientific theories. Nonetheless, they follow distinct guidelines and epistemic principles. In many cases, moreover, they lead to the revision of existing concepts and to the formation of new concepts, which allow for robust characterizations of the experimental results. The study of concept formation in experimental contexts promises new insights into the epistemic dynamics of experimental research. At the same time, it points sharply to the interlocking character of systems of experiments as contrasted with the traditional picture of experiments as single instances of corroboration or refutation ofhypotheses.”

Thomas Dohmen, Lambert Williams, Galina Granek, Igal Dotan, Giora Hon, Hans-Jörg Rheinberger, Uljana Feest, in Generating Experimental Knowledge: Experimental Systems, Concept Formation and the Pivotal Role of Error (Project Outline)