The ontological commitments of inconsistent theories

Philosophical Studies 141 (1):115 - 123 (2008)
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 to the last question: there are times when it is legitimate to believe in inconsistent objects.
Keywords Inconsistency  Inconsistent mathematics  Inconsistent objects  Inconsistent theories  Ontology  Scientific realism
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Peter Godfrey-Smith (2009). Models and Fictions in Science. Philosophical Studies 143 (1):101 - 116.
Anjan Chakravartty (2010). Perspectivism, Inconsistent Models, and Contrastive Explanation. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 41 (4):405-412.

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