Examining tensions in the past and present uses of concepts
Source TitleStudies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A
PublisherELSEVIER SCI LTD
University of Melbourne Author/sSmith, Eden
AffiliationSchool of Historical and Philosophical Studies
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsSmith, E. T. (2020). Examining tensions in the past and present uses of concepts. STUDIES IN HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE, 84, pp.84-94. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.shpsa.2020.08.004.
Access StatusThis item is embargoed and will be available on 2023-12-01
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 the nominally-discarded 'mediator-view' of sensory-like mental phenomena (SLMP). In doing so, I seek to demonstrate how examining unresolved tensions can help highlight that entrenched associations can remain both integral to, and obscured by, the uses of concepts as goal-directed tools within experimental practices.
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