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Science and the Life-WorldEssays on Husserl's Crisis of European Sciences$
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David Hyder and Hans-Jorg Rheinberger

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780804756044

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804756044.001.0001

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Concepts, Facts, and Sedimentation in Experimental Science

Concepts, Facts, and Sedimentation in Experimental Science

(p.199) § 12 Concepts, Facts, and Sedimentation in Experimental Science
Science and the Life-World

Friedrich Steinle

Stanford University Press

This chapter shows how Husserl's ideas may be fruitfully extended and applied in historical research in the experimental sciences, in this case, chemistry. It considers some notions that appear to be appropriate to that case and relates them to Husserl's concept of sedimentation. It also examines Charles Dufay's research, noting that it was directed more toward articulating concepts than it was toward theories. However, in the laboratory sciences, knowledge can sediment as materials and methods. In particular, the long sequence of conceptual articulation required by Dufay to attain his new concept of electricity eventually sedimented for his successors. Their unreflective use of these concepts and equipment both contained and concealed the results of Dufay's painstaking laboratory work.

Keywords:   experimental sciences, chemistry, Husserl's sedimentation, laboratory sciences, conceptual articulation, Charles Dufay

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