Originally posted by humy
No, what I am talking about here isn't philosophy but science. For example, research into developing a better microscope to do further research with that microscope ( just one example of one type of research into research ) would not be philosophy but science.What I am talking about here has nothing to do with epistemology nor meta-physics although I guess it m ...[text shortened]... method although that isn't an essential part of what defines what scientific method actually is.
For example, research into developing a better microscope to do further research with that microscope
I'd put that under the heading of technology development. The motivation may be to do fundamental research, but the thing being developed is a technology.
What I am talking about here has nothing to do with epistemology nor meta-physics although I guess it may be argued that it could be made to be part of scientific method although that isn't an essential part of what defines what scientific method actually is.
I assume you mean equipment development is not an essential part of scientific method. I'd query that slightly. As kit for fundamental research becomes more advanced, complicated, and, above all, expensive one's ability to gather data improves to the point where systems have to change in order to cope with the sheer mass of data being collected. The clearest example of this is L.H.C. where they had to build a "level 1 trigger" whose job is to dump enough (hopefully uninteresting) data that the rest of the computing effort can cope. This raises interesting questions about whether one has the right to neglect data. So there is an interaction with scientific method.
Traditionally meta-physics has been classed as the study of what one cannot measure and gain data on, thereby producing a neat division from physics which is about what one can measure. The problem is that physics theories are assumed to be valid even when there is not an observer, they predict unobservable things, and what we can gain data on is expanding. Really I think meta-physics should be classed as the overlap area between physics and philosophy.