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  1. Jonathan Bain (1998). Weinberg on QFT: Demonstrative Induction and Underdetermination. Synthese 117 (1):1-30.
    In this essay I examine a recent argument by Steven Weinberg that seeks to establish local quantum field theory as the only type of quantum theory in accord with the relevent evidence and satisfying two basic physical principles. I reconstruct the argument as a demonstrative induction and indicate it's role as a foil to the underdetermination argument in the debate over scientific realism.
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  2. E. C. Barnes (2002). Neither Truth nor Empirical Adequacy Explain Novel Success. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 80 (4):418 – 431.
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  3. Michael D. Bayles (1976). Harm to the Unconceived. Philosophy and Public Affairs 5 (3):292-304.
  4. Gordon Belot (2014). Down to Earth Underdetermination. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (1):456-464.
    There are many parts of science in which a certain sort of underdetermination of theory by evidence is known to be common. It is argued that reflection on this fact should serve to shift the burden of proof from scientific anti-realists to scientific realists at a crucial point in the debate between them.
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  5. Michael A. Bishop & Stephen P. Stich (1998). The Flight to Reference, or How Not to Make Progress in the Philosophy of Science. Philosophy of Science 65 (1):33-49.
    The flight to reference is a widely-used strategy for resolving philosophical issues. The three steps in a flight to reference argument are: (1) offer a substantive account of the reference relation, (2) argue that a particular expression refers (or does not refer), and (3) draw a philosophical conclusion about something other than reference, like truth or ontology. It is our contention that whenever the flight to reference strategy is invoked, there is a crucial step that (...)
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  6. M. A. Boden (2010). Against Constructivism. Constructivist Foundations 6 (1):84-89.
    Context: Radical Constructivism is an issue that deeply divides the cognitive science community: most researchers reject it, but an increasing number do not. Problem: Constructivists stress that our knowledge starts from experience. Some (“ontic” constructivists) deny the existence of a mind-independent world, while others (“radical” constructivists) claim merely that, if such a world exists, we can know nothing about it. Both positions conflict with scientific realism. It is not clear that the conflict can be resolved. Method: This paper uses philosophical (...)
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  7. K. Brad Wray (2007). A Selectionist Explanation for the Success and Failures of Science. Erkenntnis 67 (1):81-89.
    I argue that van Fraassen's selectionist explanation for the success of science is superior to the realists' explanation. Whereas realists argue that our current theories are successful because they accurately reflect the structure of the world, the selectionist claims that our current theories are successful because unsuccessful theories have been eliminated. I argue that, unlike the explanation proposed by the realist, the selectionist explanation can also account for the failures of once successful theories and the fact that sometimes two competing (...)
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  8. Michael Bradie (1996). Ontic Realism and Scientific Explanation. Philosophy of Science 63 (3):321.
    Wesley Salmon defends an ontic realism that distinguishes explanatory from descriptive knowledge. Explanatory knowledge makes appeals to (unobservable) theoretical acausal mechanisms. Salmon presents an argument designed both to legitimize attributing truth values to theoretical claims and to justify treating theoretical claims as descriptions. The argument succeeds but only at the price of calling the distinction between explanation and description into question. Even if Salmon's attempts to distinguish causal mechanisms from other mechanisms are successful, the assumed centrality of the appeal to (...)
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  9. M. C. Bradley (1964). SMART, J. J. C.: "Philosophy and Scientific Realism". Australasian Journal of Philosophy 42:262.
  10. James Robert Brown (1982). Realism, Miracles, and the Common Cause. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1982:98 - 106.
    The principle of the common cause, which gets its justification from the miracle arguments, probably constitutes the best reason for being a scientific realist. However, results in quantum mechanics steming from the work of Bell raise difficulties which anti-realists have been quick to seize. The author tries to overcome the problem and save scientific realism by reformulating the principle of the common cause so that a distinction is made between a priori and a posteriori correlations.
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  11. Martin Bunzl (1994). Scientific Abstraction and the Realist Impulse. Philosophy of Science 61 (3):449-456.
    In a series of important papers, A. Fine has developed and defended the view that the proper reading of scientific practice is neither realist nor antirealist. Instead, he argues that realism and antirealism both add something extra to a core position which is neither. In this discussion I reexamine his claim in the light of some criticisms. Fine's position contains an important insight, but to draw that point out requires shifting the way in which Fine poses the argument. I do (...)
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  12. Stephen Burwood (1999). Philosophy of Mind. Mcgill-Queen's University Press.
    Machine generated contents note: 1 The Cartesian legacy -- The dominant paradigm -- Cartesian dualism -- The secret life of the body -- The Cartesian theatre -- The domain of reason -- The causal relevance of the mind -- Conclusion -- Further reading --2 Reductionism and the road to functionalism -- Causation, scientific realism, and physicalism -- Reductionism and central state materialism -- Problems with central state materialism -- Modified ontological physicalism: supervenience -- Modified explanatory physicalism: the disunity of -- (...)
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  13. Jacob Busch (2012). The Indispensability Argument for Mathematical Realism and Scientific Realism. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 43 (1):3-9.
    Confirmational holism is central to a traditional formulation of the indispensability argument for mathematical realism (IA). I argue that recent strategies for defending scientific realism are incompatible with confirmational holism. Thus a traditional formulation of IA is incompatible with recent strategies for defending scientific realism. As a consequence a traditional formulation of IA will only have limited appeal.
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  14. Jacob Busch (2010). Explanation Arguments for Scientific Realism and Theism–Faulty or Restricted in Scope? SATS: Northern European Journal of Philosophy 11 (2):161-180.
  15. Claudio Calosi, Vincenzo Fano & Gino Tarozzi (2011). Quantum Ontology and Extensional Mereology. Foundations of Physics 41 (11):1740-1755.
    The present paper has three closely related aims. We first argue that Agazzi’s scientific realism about Quantum Mechanics is in line with Selleri’s and Tarozzi’s proposal of Quantum Waves. We then go on to formulate rigorously different metaphysical principles such as property compositional determinateness and mereological extensionalism. We argue that, contrary to widespread agreement, realism about Quantum Mechanics actually refutes only the former. Indeed we even formulate a new quantum mechanical argument in favor of extensionalism. We conclude by noting that, (...)
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  16. Rudolf Carnap (2009). Theory and Observation. In Timothy J. McGrew, Marc Alspector-Kelly & Fritz Allhoff (eds.), The Philosophy of Science: An Historical Anthology. Wiley-Blackwell 329.
  17. Martin Carrier (2003). Emergence and the Final Theory, Or: How to Make Scientific Progress Sustainable. Revista de Filosofía (Madrid) 28 (1):7.
    Convergent scientific realism entails that science will sooner or later arrive at the final theory of the fundamental constituents of matter. At that stage, all fundamental truths about nature will be discovered so that the search for basic principle seems bound to come to a halt. I explore options for a non-convergent scientific realism that allows for sustained progress in basic research. I defend the views that the coherence of non-convergent realism requires an emergence claim and that this claim can (...)
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  18. Martin Carrier (1991). What is Wrong with the Miracle Argument??☆. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 22 (1):23-36.
    One of the arguments advanced in favor of scientific realism is the 'miracle argument'. It says that for the anti-realist the predictive success of science appears as an utter miracle. This argument indeed has some prima facie plausibility, provided that it is sharpened by construing "predictive success" as prediction of previously unknown laws and the occurrence of a consilience of inductions. Still, the history of science teaches us that it is possible to arrive at predictive success in this sense by (...)
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  19. Nancy Cartwright (1993). How We Relate Theory to Observation. In Paul Horwich (ed.), World Changes. Thomas Kuhn and the Nature of Science. MIT Press 259--273.
  20. Hasok Chang (2003). Preservative Realism and its Discontents: Revisiting Caloric. Philosophy of Science 70 (5):902-912.
    A popular and plausible response against Laudan's “pessimistic induction” has been what I call “preservative realism,” which argues that there have actually been enough elements of scientific knowledge preserved through major theory‐change processes, and that those elements can be accepted realistically. This paper argues against preservative realism, in particular through a critical review of Psillos's argument concerning the case of the caloric theory of heat. Contrary to his argument, the historical record of the caloric theory reveals that beliefs about the (...)
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  21. Silvio Seno Chibeni (2008). Explanations in Microphysics: A Response to van Fraassen's Argument. Principia 12 (1):49-72.
    http://dx.doi.org/10.5007/1808-1711.2008v12n1p49 The aim of this article is to offer a rejoinder to an argument against scientific realism put forward by van Fraassen (...), based on theoretical considerations regarding microphysics. At a certain stage of his general attack to scientific realism, van Fraassen argues, in contrast to what realists typically hold, that empirical regularities should sometimes be regarded asbrute facts”, which do not ask for explanation in terms of deeper, unobservable mechanisms. The argument from microphysics formulated by van Fraassen is based on the claim that in microphysics the demand for explanation leads to a demand for the so-called hidden-variable theories, whichruns contrary to at least one major school of thought in twentieth-century physics”. It is shown here that this argument does not represent an insurmountable obstacle to scientific realism, not even when a series of important theoretical and experimental results against hidden-variable theoriesand not merely a conflict with a certain school of thoughtis taken into account. (shrink)
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  22. Silvio Seno Chibeni (2006). Afirming the Consequent: A Defense of Scientific Realism (?!). Scientiae Studia 4 (2):221-249.
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  23. Silvio Seno Chibeni (2005). Discussions Quinton's Neglected Argument for Scientific Realism. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 36 (2):393-400.
    This paper discusses an argument for scientific realism put forward by Anthony Quinton in The Nature of Things. The argument – here called the controlled continuity argument – seems to have received no attention in the literature, apparently because it may easily be mistaken for a better-known argument, Grover Maxwell’s “argument from the continuum”. It is argued here that, in point of fact, the two are quite distinct and that Quinton’s argument has several advantages over Maxwell’s. The controlled continuity argument (...)
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  24. Silvio Seno Chibeni (2005). Quinton's Neglected Argument for Scientific Realism. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 36 (2):393 - 400.
    This paper discusses an argument for scientific realism put forward by Anthony Quinton in The Nature of Things. The argument - here called the controlled continuity argument - seems to have received no attention in the literature, apparently because it may easily be mistaken for a better-known argument, Grover Maxwell's "argument from the continuum". It is argued here that, in point of fact, the two are quite distinct and that Quinton's argument has several advantages over Maxwell's. The controlled continuity argument (...)
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  25. Steve Clarke & Tymothy D. Lyons (eds.) (2002). Recent Themes in the Philosophy of Science Scientific Realism and Commonsense. Springer.
  26. F. John Clendinnen (1977). Inference, Practice and Theory. Synthese 34 (1):89 - 132.
    Reichenbach held that all scientific inference reduces, via probability calculus, to induction, and he held that induction can be justified. He sees scientific knowledge in a practical context and insists that any rational assessment of actions requires a justification of induction. Gaps remain in his justifying argument; for we can not hope to prove that induction will succeed if success is possible. However, there are good prospects for completing a justification of essentially the kind he sought by showing that while (...)
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  27. Robin Alan Collins (1993). Epistemological Issues in the Scientific Realism/Antirealism Debate: An Analysis and a Proposal. Dissertation, University of Notre Dame
    I carefully analyze the two major arguments for scientific realism, what I call the Explanatory Argument for Realism and what I call the Epistemic Arbitrariness Argument . According to advocates of EAR, we should believe in realism because it is the only adequate explanation of the success of science or scientific methodology. On the other hand, according to advocates of EAA, the distinction between observable entities and unobservable entities is epistemically arbitrary, and thus, contrary to what nonrealists claim, inference to (...)
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  28. Mark Colyvan, Scientific Realism and Mathematical Nominalism: A Marriage Made in Hell.
    The Quine-Putnam Indispensability argument is the argument for treating mathematical entities on a par with other theoretical entities of our best scientific theories. This argument is usually taken to be an argument for mathematical realism. In this chapter I will argue that the proper way to understand this argument is as putting pressure on the viability of the marriage of scientific realism and mathematical nominalism. Although such a marriage is a popular option amongst philosophers of science and mathematics, in light (...)
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  29. Mark Colyvan (2008). The Ontological Commitments of Inconsistent Theories. Philosophical Studies 141 (1):115 - 123.
    In this paper I present an argument for belief in inconsistent objects. The argument relies on a particular, plausible version of scientific realism, and the fact that often our best scientific theories are inconsistent. It is not clear what to make of this argument. Is it a reductio of the version of scientific realism under consideration? If it is, what are the alternatives? Should we just accept the conclusion? I will argue (rather tentatively and suitably qualified) for a positive answer (...)
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  30. Alberto Cordero (2013). Theory-Parts for Scientific Realists. In Vassilios Karakostas & Dennis Dieks (eds.), Epsa11 Perspectives and Foundational Problems in Philosophy of Science. Springer 153--165.
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  31. Alberto Cordero (2012). Diachronic Realism About Successful Theories. Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 43:51-66.
    The success of a scientific theory T is not an all-or-nothing matter; nor is a theory something one can usually accept or reject in toto (i.e. one may take T as being "approximately true", or take as true just certain "parts" of it, without necessarily affirming every posit and claim specific to T as being either completely right or completely wrong). This, however, raises questions about precisely which parts of T deserve to be taken as approximately true. on the basis (...)
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  32. Alberto Cordero (2012). Rejected Posits, Realism, and the History of Science. In Henk W. de Regt (ed.), Epsa Philosophy of Science: Amsterdam 2009. Springer 23--32.
    Summary: Responding to Laudan’s skeptical reading of history an influential group of realists claim that the seriously wrong claims past successful theories licensed were not really implicated in the predictions that once singled them out as successful. For example, in the case of Fresnel’s theory of light, it is said that although he appealed to the ether he didn’t actually need to in order to derive his famous experimental predictions—in them, we are assured, the ether concept was “idle,” “inessential,” “peripheral” (...)
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  33. Alberto Cordero (2008). Diachronic Local Realism About Successful Theories. Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 43:67-71.
    A major realist response to Laudan-type historical arguments against scientific realism by seeking to identify parts of a successful scientific theory one can claim to have been "essentially" implicated in the theory’s distinctive success, which they regard as primary candidates for realist truth ascription. But, how is one to determine which parts of any theory are "central" or "peripheral", "essential" or "idle" in the required sense? Attempts at spelling out relevant synchronic links between successful predictions and correct partial theorizing increasingly (...)
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  34. Alberto Cordero (2000). Realism and Underdetermination. Philosophy of Science 68.
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  35. Robert P. Crease (2013). Scientific Mythbusting. Metascience 22 (2):509-511.
  36. K. M. Darling (2002). The Complete Duhemian Underdetermination Argument: Scientific Language and Practice. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 33 (3):511-533.
    Current discussion of scientific realism and antirealism often cites Pierre Duhem's argument for the underdetermination of theory choice by evidence. Participants draw on an account of his underdetermination thesis that is familiar, but incomplete. The purpose of this article is to complete the familiar account. I argue that a closer look at Duhem's The aim and structure of physical theory (1914) suggests that the rationale for his underdetermination thesis comes from his philosophy of scientific language. I explore how an understanding (...)
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  37. John Davenport, The Phenomenological Critique of Representationalism: Husserl's and Heidegger's Arguments for a Qualified Realism.
    This paper begins by tracing the Hobbesian roots of `representationalism:' the thesis that reality is accessible to mind only through representations, images, signs or appearances that indicate a reality lying `behind' them (e.g. as unperceived causes of perceptions). This is linked to two kinds of absolute realism: the `naive' scientific realism of British empiricism, which provoked Berkeley's idealist reaction, and the noumenal realism of Kant. I argue that Husserl defined his position against both Berkeleyian idealism and these forms of absolute (...)
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  38. Michael Devitt (2006). The Pessimistic Meta-Induction. A Response to Jacob Busch. SATS: Northern European Journal of Philosophy 7 (2):127-135.
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  39. Michael Devitt (2002). Underdetermination and Realism. Noûs 36 (s1):26 - 50.
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  40. Michael Devitt (1987). Does Realism Explain Success? In Nouvelles Tendances du Réalisme: La Perspective Australienne. Revue Internationale de Philosophie 41 (160):29-44.
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  41. Paul Dicken (2013). Tolerance and Voluntarism. Philosophical Papers 42 (1):25 - 48.
    Carnap's mature philosophy of science is an attempt to dissolve the scientific realism debate altogether as a philosophical pseudo-question. His argument depends upon a logico-semantic thesis regarding the structure of a scientific theory, and more importantly, a meta-ontological thesis regarding the explication of existence claims. The latter commits Carnap to a distinction between the analytic and the synthetic, which was allegedly refuted by Quine. The contemporary philosophy of science has therefore sought to distance itself from logico-semantic considerations, and has pursued (...)
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  42. Michael Dickson (1995). An Empirical Reply to Empiricism: Protective Measurement Opens the Door for Quantum Realism. Philosophy of Science 62 (1):122-140.
    Quantum mechanics has sometimes been taken to be an empiricist (vs. realist) theory. I state the empiricist's argument, then outline a recently noticed type of measurement--protective measurement--that affords a good reply for the realist. This paper is a reply to scientific empiricism (about quantum mechanics), but is neither a refutation of that position, nor an argument in favor of scientific realism. Rather, my aim is to place realism and empiricism on an even score in regards to quantum theory.
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  43. Antonio Diéguez-Lucena (2006). Why Does Laudan's Confutation of Convergent Realism Fail? Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 37 (2):393 - 403.
    In his paper "A Confutation of Convergent Realism", Larry Laudan offered one of the most powerful criticisms of scientific realism. I defend here that although Laudan's criticism is right, this does not refute the realist position. The thesis that Laudan confutes is a much stronger thesis than realist needs to maintain. As I will exemplify with Salmon's statistical-relevance model, a less strict notion of explanation would allow us to claim that (approximate) truth is the best explanation for such success, even (...)
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  44. John Anthony Doody (1974). Scientific Realism and Instrumentalism: An Analysis of the Concepts of Description and Explanation. Dissertation, University of Notre Dame
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  45. Igor Douven & Jaap Brakel (1995). Is Scientific Realism an Empirical Hypothesis? Dialectica 49 (1):3-14.
  46. Simon John Eades (1998). From the Caloric Theory of Heat to Maxwell's Theory of the Electromagnetic Field: How the History of Physics Mandates That Realists Re-Think Their Argument From Theoretical Success. Dissertation, Columbia University
    It is argued that abductive arguments from theoretical success count at best against fictionalism, that scientific realists are best distinguished by their belief in the legitimacy of abduction, and that scientific realism is thus best understood as scientific anti-fictionalism. It is argued that some abductions to existential claims which are not theory-mediated have been vindicated by later observations, and that this counts in favour of the legitimacy of abduction. Attention then turns to the issue of abductive standards. It is argued (...)
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  47. Juli Kathryn Thorson Eflin (1990). Prospects for Scientific Realism. Dissertation, University of Washington
    I begin the account of scientific realism with the intuition that we explain the behavior of an object by saying what it is and that if we can say what an object is we have an explanation of its behavior. The question the scientific realist needs to answer is whether the intuition is limited to cases in which an explanation is given in macroscopic terms or whether it can be justifiably extended to theoretical explanations. To justify extending the intuition to (...)
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  48. Matthias Egg (2014). 6 The Problem of Unconceived Alternatives. In Scientific Realism in Particle Physics: A Causal Approach. De Gruyter 79-102.
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  49. Matthias Egg (2013). Inequivalent Representations Do Not Undermine Realism About Particles. Foundations of Physics 31.
  50. Matthias Egg (2013). John Wright, Explaining Science's Success. Understanding How Scientific Knowledge Works, Durham: Acumen Publishing, 2013, 199 Pp., GBP 45 (US $75) (Hardcover), ISBN 978‐1‐84465‐532‐8. [REVIEW] Dialectica 67 (3):367-372.
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