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Calibrating Chromatography: How Tswett Broke the Experimenters' Regress

Livengood, Jonathan and Edwards, Adam (2019) Calibrating Chromatography: How Tswett Broke the Experimenters' Regress. [Preprint]

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Abstract

We propose a new account of calibration according to which calibrating a technique shows that the technique does what it is supposed to do. To motivate our account, we examine an early 20th century debate about chlorophyll chemistry and Mikhail Tswett’s use of chromatographic adsorption analysis to study it. We argue that Tswett’s experiments established that his technique was reliable in the special case of chlorophyll without relying on either a theory or a standard calibration experiment. We suggest that Tswett broke the Experimenters’ Regress by appealing to material facts in the common ground for chemists at the time.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Livengood, Jonathanjonathan.livengood@gmail.com0000-0002-1561-9784
Edwards, Adamadamedw01@gmail.com
Keywords: Tswett, Experimenters’ Regress, calibration, material theory
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology
Specific Sciences > Chemistry
General Issues > Experimentation
General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
Depositing User: Dr. Jonathan Livengood
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2019 03:42
Last Modified: 13 Jul 2019 03:42
Item ID: 16209
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology
Specific Sciences > Chemistry
General Issues > Experimentation
General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
Date: 11 July 2019
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/16209

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