Introduction: The Solidity of Scientific Achievements: Structure of the Problem, Difficulties, Philosophical Implications
The introduction (a) defines robustness and solidity; (b) provides a systematic analysis of the structure of the problem of robustness; (c) stresses several important difficulties, makes suggestions intended to help to overcome them, and points to issues waiting for further work; (d) sketches the philosophical implications related to the solidity problem; (e) gives an overview of the different chapters of the present book.
KeywordsScientific Practice Empirical Science Standard Quantum Mechanic Historical Situation Weak Neutral Current
Concerning the content of this introduction, I am grateful to Jacob Stegenga and Thomas Nickles for their useful comments. Many thanks also to them, and to Emiliano Trizio, for their corrections and suggestions of improvement concerning the English language.
More generally, my personal research on robustness has benefited from a collective project, called ‘PratiScienS’, which I initiated in 2007 in Nancy, France, and have led since that time. The aim of the PratiScienS group is to evaluate what we have learned about science from the practice turn in the studies devoted to science. The issue of robustness is one of the central axes of the project. I am grateful to the members of the group for fruitful exchanges on the subject.
The PratiScienS project is supported by the ANR (Agence Nationale de la Recherche), the MSH Lorraine (Maison des Sciences de l’Homme), the Région Lorraine, the LHSP – Laboratoire d’Histoire des Sciences et de Philosophie – Archives Henri Poincaré (UMR 7117 of the CNRS) and the University of Nancy 2. The support of these institutions enabled the PratiScienS group to organize, in June 2008 in Nancy, a conference on robustness to which many contributors of the present book participated.
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