The Operational Coherence of Data Reduction in Millikan’s Oil-Drop Experiment
本所嚴偉哲（Jonathon Hricko）教授發表的文章，中文名稱是：密立根油滴實驗中數據簡化的操作融貫性 ，收錄於 Taiwanese Journal for Studies of Science, Technology and Medicine。恭喜 Jonathon！以下為本文摘要。全文請見連結。
Robert Andrews Millikan’s oil-drop experiment provided a fairly accurate measurement of the charge of the electron. However, Millikan discarded data that did not fit with his initial hypothesis regarding the value of the charge and was not honest about doing so in his published work. I use this case in order to develop an objection to Hasok Chang’s operational coherence theory of truth, according to which a statement is true if belief in that statement is needed when engaging in a coherent activity. I argue that Millikan’s data reduction is a coherent activity, and that Millikan’s belief in his initial hypothesis regarding the charge of the electron was needed in this coherent activity because it provided the grounds for discarding some of the data. According to Chang’s theory, Millikan’s initial hypothesis is therefore true. Even if we think that Chang’s theory provides the correct result in this case, it does so for the wrong reason. The fact that Millikan needed to believe in his initial hypothesis in order to determine which data to discard is not a good reason for concluding that his initial hypothesis is true.