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  1. Peter M. Ainsworth (2012). The Third Path to Structural Realism. Hopos 2 (2):307-320.
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  2. Sophie R. Allen (2007). What's the Point in Scientific Realism If We Don't Know What's Really There? Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 82 (61):97-123.
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  3. Chiara Ambrosio (2009). Scientific Realism and the Rationality of Science. Theoria 24 (3):368-370.
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  4. Adam Caulton & Jeremy Butterfield (2012). Symmetries and Paraparticles as a Motivation for Structuralism. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 63 (2):233-285.
    This article develops an analogy proposed by Stachel between general relativity (GR) and quantum mechanics (QM) as regards permutation invariance. Our main idea is to overcome Pooley's criticism of the analogy by appeal to paraparticles. In GR, the equations are (the solution space is) invariant under diffeomorphisms permuting spacetime points. Similarly, in QM the equations are invariant under particle permutations. Stachel argued that this feature—a theory's ‘not caring which point, or particle, is which’—supported a structuralist ontology. Pooley criticizes this analogy: (...)
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  5. Alberto Cordero (2011). Scientific Realism and the Divide Et Impera Strategy: The Ether Saga Revisited. Philosophy of Science 78 (5):1120-1130.
  6. G. Doppelt (2002). Relativism and Reality: A Contemporary Introduction; Scientific Realism: How Science Tracks Truth. Philosophical Review 111 (1):142-147.
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  7. Gerald Doppelt (2002). Review of Relativism and Reality and How Science Tracks Truth. [REVIEW] Philosophical Review 111 (1):142-147.
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  8. Gerald D. Doppelt (2011). From Standard Scientific Realism and Structural Realism to Best Current Theory Realism. Journal for General Philosophy of Science 42 (2):295-316.
    I defend a realist commitment to the truth of our most empirically successful current scientific theories—on the ground that it provides the best explanation of their success and the success of their falsified predecessors. I argue that this Best Current Theory Realism (BCTR) is superior to preservative realism (PR) and the structural realism (SR). I show that PR and SR rest on the implausible assumption that the success of outdated theories requires the realist to hold that these theories possessed truthful (...)
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  9. George Engelbretsen (1980). Review of Universals and Scientific Realism. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 27:251-254.
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  10. Howard Engelskirchen (2010). Powers and Particulars: Adorno and Scientific Realism. Journal of Critical Realism 3 (1):1-21.
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  11. F. A. M. Frescura & B. J. Hiley (1980). The Algebraization of Quantum Mechanics and the Implicate Order. Foundations of Physics 10 (9-10):705-722.
    It has been proposed that the implicate order can be given mathematical expression in terms of an algebra and that this algebra is similar to that used in quantum theory. In this paper we bring out in a simple way those aspects of the algebraic formulation of quantum theory that are most relevant to the implicate order. By using the properties of the standard ket introduced by Dirac we describe in detail how the Heisenberg algebra can be generalized to produce (...)
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  12. Ronald N. Giere (2000). Book Review:The Dappled World: A Study of the Boundaries of Science Nancy Cartwright. [REVIEW] Philosophy of Science 67 (3):527-.
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  13. Shelby D. Hunt (2011). Theory Status, Inductive Realism, and Approximate Truth: No Miracles, No Charades. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 25 (2):159 - 178.
    The concept of approximate truth plays a prominent role in most versions of scientific realism. However, adequately conceptualizing ?approximate truth? has proved challenging. This article argues that the goal of articulating the concept of approximate truth can be advanced by first investigating the processes by which science accords theories the status of accepted or rejected. Accordingly, this article uses a path diagram model as a visual heuristic for the purpose of showing the processes in science that are involved in determining (...)
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  14. Valeriano Iranzo (2012). Inductivist Strategies for Scientific Realism. Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 101 (1):241-268.
    Philip Kitcher has developed a sort of inductivist-reliabilist justification for scientific realism. After distinguishing his argument from a well-known abductivist one (the "no-miracles" argument), I will argue that Kitcher's proposal cannot adequately meet the antirealist challenge. Firstly, it begs the question against the antirealists; secondly, it can hardly support a plausible - piecemeal - scientific realism. I will explore an alternative inductivist approach that exploits correlations between theoretical properties and empirical success. On my view, its prospects for avoiding the aforementioned (...)
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  15. Valeriano Iranzo (2010). Review of A Metaphysics for Scientific Realism. [REVIEW] Theoria 25 (1):93-95.
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  16. Chuang Liu (1996). Potential, Propensity, and Categorical Realism. Erkenntnis 45 (1):45 - 68.
    I argue that categorical realism, contrary to what most believe today, holds for quantum (and indeed for all) objects and substances. The main argument consists of two steps: (i) the recent experimental verification of the AB effect gives strong empirical evidence for taking quantum potentials as physically real (or substantival), which suggests a change of the data upon which any viable interpretation of quantum theory must rely, and (ii) quantum potentials may be consistently taken as the categorical properties of quantum (...)
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  17. Axel Mueller & Arthur Fine, Realism, Beyond Miracles.
    Two things about Hilary Putnam have not changed throughout his career: some (including Putnam himself) have regarded him as a “realist” and some have seen him as a philosopherwho changed his positions (certainly with respect to realism) almost continually. Apparently, what realism meant to him in the 1960s, in the late seventies and eighties, and in the nineties, respectively, are quite different things. Putnam indicates this by changing prefixes: scientific, metaphysical, internal, pragmatic, commonsense, but always realism. Encouraged by Putnam’s own (...)
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  18. Bence Nanay (2013). Singularist Semirealism. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (2):371-394.
    This paper proposes to carve out a new position in the scientific realism/antirealism debate and argue that it captures some of the most important realist and some of the most important antirealist considerations. The view, briefly stated, is that there is always a fact of the matter about whether the singular statements science gives us are literally true, but there is no fact of the matter about whether the non-singular statements science gives us are literally true. I call this view (...)
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  19. Antonio Nunziante (2013). The “Morbid Fear of the Subjective”. Privateness and Objectivity in Mid-Twentieth Century American Naturalism. Metodo. International Studies in Phenomenology and Philosophy 1 (1-2):1-19.
    The “Morbid Fear of the Subjective” (copyright by Roy Wood Sellars) represents a key-element of the American naturalist debate of the Mid-twentieth century. On the one hand, we are witnessing to the unconditional trust in the objectivity of scientific discourse, while on the other (and as a consequence) there is the attempt to exorcise the myth of the “subjective” and of its metaphysical privateness. This theoretical roadmap quickly assumed the shape of an even sociological contrast between the “democraticity” of natural (...)
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  20. Rein Vihalemm (2013). Practical Realism: Against Standard Scientific Realism and Anti-Realism. Studia Philosophica Estonica 5 (2):7-22.
    In this paper, the elaboration of the concept of practical realist philosophy of science which began in the author's previous papers is continued. It is argued that practical realism is opposed to standard scientific realism, on the one hand, and antirealism, on the other. Standard scientific realism is challengeable due to its abstract character, as being isolated from practice. It is based on a metaphysical-ontological presupposition which raises the problem of the God's Eye point of view (as it was called (...)
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  21. Ioannis Votsis, Structural Realism and Causation: An Unhappy Marriage?
    It has recently been objected that structural realism, in its various guises, is unable to adequately account for causal phenomena (see, for example, Psillos 2006). In this talk, I consider whether structural realism has the resources to address this objection.
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  22. Ioannis Votsis, Structural Realism: From an Epistemological Point of View.
    Structural realism is a rather popular view in philosophy of science. As with many popular views, sprouting is never far behind. No sprout has had as much grip on the view’s image as ontic structural realism. Indeed its supporters have such a stranglehold that ‘structural realism’ has almost become a byword for their views. In this talk, I want to redress this imbalance by returning to structural realism’s humble epistemic beginnings to examine exactly what made the view so attractive in (...)
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  23. Ioannis Votsis, Structural Realism Meets the Social Sciences.
    Structural realism is arguably one of the most influential movements to have emerged in philosophy of science in the last decade or so. Advocates of this movement attempt to answer epistemological and/or ontological questions concerning science by arguing that the key to all such questions is the mathematical formalism of a theory. This is so, according to structural realists, because the mathematical formalism encodes all and only what is important about a theory’s target domain, namely its structure. Almost without exception, (...)
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Convergent Realism
  1. Jerrold L. Aronson (1989). Discussion: Testing for Convergent Realism. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 40:255-9.
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  2. Jerrold L. Aronson (1989). Testing for Convergent Realism. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 40 (2):255-259.
    Larry Laudan has challenged the realist to come up with a program that submits realism to "those stringent empirical demands which the realist himself minimally insists on when appraising scientific theories." This paper shows how the realist can go about taking up Laudan on this challenge; and, in such a way that the realist hypothesis actually ends up being confirmed, by any empirical standards. In other words, it is shown that we can test for convergent realism, just as readily as (...)
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  3. Jeffrey A. Barrett (2003). Are Our Best Physical Theories (Probably and/or Approximately) True? Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1206-1218.
    There is good reason to suppose that our best physical theories are false: In addition to its own internal problems, the standard formulation of quantum mechanics is logically incompatible with special relativity. I will also argue that we have no concrete idea what it means to claim that these theories are approximately true.
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  4. Anjan Chakravartty, Scientific Realism. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  5. 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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  6. Pierre Cruse (2004). Scientific Realism, Ramsey Sentences and the Reference of Theoretical Terms. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 18 (2 & 3):133 – 149.
    It is often thought that questions of reference are crucial in assessing scientific realism, construed as the view that successful theories are at least approximately true descriptions of the unobservable; realism is justified only if terms in empirically successful theories generally refer to genuinely existing entities or properties. In this paper this view is questioned. First, it is argued that there are good reasons to think that questions of realism are largely decided by convention and carry no epistemic significance. An (...)
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  7. Antonio Diéguez-Lucena (2006). Why Does Laudan's Confutation of Convergent Realism Fail? Journal for General Philosophy of Science 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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  8. Clyde L. Hardin & Alexander Rosenberg (1982). In Defense of Convergent Realism. Philosophy of Science 49 (4):604-615.
    Many realists have maintained that the success of scientific theories can be explained only if they may be regarded as approximately true. Laurens Laudan has in turn contended that a necessary condition for a theory's being approximately true is that its central terms refer, and since many successful theories of the past have employed central terms which we now understand to be non-referential, realism cannot explain their success. The present paper argues that a realist can adopt a view of reference (...)
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  9. D. Harker (2013). How to Split a Theory: Defending Selective Realism and Convergence Without Proximity. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (1):79-106.
    The most influential arguments for scientific realism remain centrally concerned with an inference from scientific success to the approximate truth of successful theories. Recently, however, and in response to antirealists' objections from radical discontinuity within the history of science, the arguments have been refined. Rather than target entire theories, realists narrow their commitments to only certain parts of theories. Despite an initial plausibility, the selective realist strategy faces significant challenges. In this article, I outline four prerequisites for a successful selective (...)
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  10. Larry Laudan (1981). A Confutation of Convergent Realism. Philosophy of Science 48 (1):19-49.
    This essay contains a partial exploration of some key concepts associated with the epistemology of realist philosophies of science. It shows that neither reference nor approximate truth will do the explanatory jobs that realists expect of them. Equally, several widely-held realist theses about the nature of inter-theoretic relations and scientific progress are scrutinized and found wanting. Finally, it is argued that the history of science, far from confirming scientific realism, decisively confutes several extant versions of avowedly 'naturalistic' forms of scientific (...)
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  11. Michael Redhead (2001). Quests of a Realist (Review of Stathis Psillos' Scientific Realism, Routledge 1999). Aahpsss 10 (3):341-371.
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  12. Jay F. Rosenberg (1988). Comparing the Incommensurable: Another Look at Convergent Realism. Philosophical Studies 54 (2):163 - 193.
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  13. Jonathan Y. Tsou (2006). Genetic Epistemology and Piaget's Philosophy of Science: Piaget Vs. Kuhn on Scientific Progress. Theory and Psychology 16 (2):203-224.
    This paper concerns Jean Piaget's (1896–1980) philosophy of science and, in particular, the picture of scientific development suggested by his theory of genetic epistemology. The aims of the paper are threefold: (1) to examine genetic epistemology as a theory concerning the growth of knowledge both in the individual and in science; (2) to explicate Piaget's view of ‘scientific progress’, which is grounded in his theory of equilibration; and (3) to juxtapose Piaget's notion of progress with Thomas Kuhn's (1922–1996). Issues of (...)
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  14. Ioannis Votsis, Caloric: Centre or Offstage?
    The pessimistic induction argument, most often associated with Larry Laudan, is now widely considered to be one of the main obstacles for realism. Put simply, the argument holds that since past predictively successful scientific theories have eventually been discarded, we have inductive evidence that our current theories will also be discarded one day. More precisely, Laudan undermines the inference from the explanatory and predictive success of a theory to its approximate truth and referential success. This paper criticises a particular kind (...)
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  15. Thomas Weston (1992). Approximate Truth and Scientific Realism. Philosophy of Science 59 (1):53-74.
    This paper describes a theory of accuracy or approximate truth and applies it to problems in the realist interpretation of scientific theories. It argues not only that realism requires approximate truth, but that an adequate theory of approximation also presupposes some elements of a realist interpretation of theories. The paper distinguishes approximate truth from vagueness, probability and verisimilitude, and applies it to problems of confirmation and deduction from inaccurate premises. Basic results are cited, but details appear elsewhere. Objections are surveyed, (...)
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Entity Realism
  1. Peter Achinstein (2002). Is There a Valid Experimental Argument for Scientific Realism? Journal of Philosophy 99 (9):470-495.
  2. J. Brakevanl (1993). Polywater and Experimental Realism. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (4):775-784.
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  3. Jacob Busch (2006). Entity Realism Meets the Pessimistic Meta-Induction – The World is Not Enough. SATS: Northern European Journal of Philosophy 7 (106):26.
    In the following I briefly set out Devitt's (1997) definition of entity realism and compare it to Hacking's (1983) definition. I then set out the pessimistic induction argument as suggested by Putnam (1978). I present an argument developed by Bertolet (1988) to the effect that Devitt's abductive defence of realism fails. In the light of its failure, Devitt offers the ability of his definition of scientific realism to solve the pessimistic induction argument as a tactical advantage for his definition. I (...)
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  4. Anjan Chakravartty (1998). Semirealism. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 29 (3):391-408.
    The intuition of the naı¨ve realist, miracle arguments notwithstanding, is countered forcefully by a host of considerations, including the possibility of underdetermination, and criticisms of abductive inferences to explanatory hypotheses. Some have suggested that an induction may be performed, from the perspective of present theories, on their predecessors. Past theories are thought to be false, strictly speaking; it is thus likely that present-day theories are also false, and will be taken as such at an appropriate future time.
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  5. Stephen Clarke (2010). Transcendental Realisms in the Philosophy of Science: On Bhaskar and Cartwright. Synthese 173 (3):299 - 315.
    I consider two transcendental arguments for realism in the philosophy of science, which are due to Roy Bhaskar (A realist theory of science, 1975) and Nancy Cartwright (The dappled world, 1999). Bhaskar and Cartwright are both influential figures, however there is little discussion of their use of transcendental arguments in the literature. Here I seek to correct this oversight. I begin by describing the role of the transcendental arguments in question, in the context of the broader philosophical theories in which (...)
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  6. Steve Clarke (2001). Defensible Territory for Entity Realism. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 52 (4):701-722.
    In the face of argument to the contrary, it is shown that there is defensible middle ground available for entity realism, between the extremes of scientific realism and empiricist antirealism. Cartwright's ([1983]) earlier argument for defensible middle ground between these extremes, which depended crucially on the viability of an underdeveloped distinction between inference to the best explanation (IBE) and inference to the most probable cause (IPC), is examined and its defects are identified. The relationship between IBE and IPC is clarified (...)
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  7. Mark Colyvan (1999). Causal Explanation and Ontological Commitment. In Uwe Meixner Peter Simons (ed.), Metaphysics in the Post-Metaphysical Age. Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society. 1--141.
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  8. Herman de Regt (1994). The Sad but True Story of Entity Realism. In A. A. Derksen (ed.), The Scientific Realism of Rom Harré. Tilburg University Press.
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  9. Mauro Dorato & Massimo Pauri, Holism and Structuralism in Classical and Quantum General Relativity.
    The main aim of our paper is to show that interpretative issues belonging to classical General Relativity (GR) might be preliminary to a deeper understanding of conceptual problems stemming from on-going attempts at constructing a quantum theory of gravity. Among such interpretative issues, we focus on the meaning of general covariance and the related question of the identity of points, by basing our investigation on the Hamiltonian formulation of GR. In particular, we argue that the adoption of a peculiar gauge-fixing (...)
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  10. Mohamed Elsamahi (1994). Could Theoretical Entities Save Realism? In David & Richard Hull & Burian (ed.), PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association. 173 - 180.
    Hacking and other entity realists suggest a strategy to build scientific realism on a stronger foundation than inference to the best explanation. They argue that if beliefs in the existence of theoretical entities are derived from experimentation rather than theories, they can escape the antirealist's criticism and provide a stronger ground for realism. In this paper, an outline and a critique of entity realism are presented. It will be argued that entity realism cannot stand as a separate position from classical (...)
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  11. Axel Gelfert (2003). Manipulative Success and the Unreal. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 17 (3):245-263.
    In its original form due to Ian Hacking, entity realism postulates a criterion of manipulative success which replaces explanatory virtue as the criterion of justified scientific belief. The article analyses the foundations on which this postulate rests and identifies the conditions on which one can derive a form of entity realism from it. It then develops in detail an extensive class of counterexamples, drawing on the notion of quasi-particles in condensed matter physics. While the phenomena associated with quasi-particles pass the (...)
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  12. Ian Hacking (1995). Scientific Realism About Some Chemical Entities. Foundations of Science 1 (4):537-542.
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