David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
This is a defense of the doctrine of scientific realism. SR is defined through the following two claims: Most essential unobservables posited by the well-established current scientific theories exist independently of our minds. We know our well-established scientific theories to be approximately true. I first offer positive argumentation for SR. I begin with the so-called 'success arguments' for SR: 1) scientific theories most of the times entail successful predictions; 2) science is methodologically successful in generating empirically successful theories. SR explains these facts via inference to the best explanation. I combine Hacking's experimental argument for entity realism with Salmon's common-cause principle. I take entity realism to be foundational to SR: one may believe in the existence of some theoretical entities without believing in any particular theory in which these are embedded. Its motivation comes from experimental practice, where the manipulation of these entities often relies on incompatible theoretical accounts. The underdetermination topic is thereafter discussed. Several attempts to distinguish between an observable and an unobservable realm are critically discussed, as well as the possibility that for any given theory, there are empirically equivalents generated by means of algorithms. I present extensive argumentation to the effect that such algorithmic rivals are not to be taken seriously. Social constructivism is being critically treated. I proceed by distinguishing between a metaphysical, a semantic, and an epistemic variant of SC. I conclude that only a moderate metaphysical constructivism can stand on its own feet. Its claim is merely that some facts about the world are socially constructed. I finish with a plea for a selective SR, able to do justice to the presence of both instrumentalism and modest constructivism in scientific practice
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
J. L. Schellenberg (2005). The Hiddenness Argument Revisited. Religious Studies 41 (3):287-303.
Peter J. Taylor (1994). Shifting Frames: From Divided to Distributed Psychologies of Scientific Agents. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1994:304-310.
Ludwig Fahrbach (2011). How the Growth of Science Ends Theory Change. Synthese 180 (2):139-155.
Dale Hample, Bing Han & David Payne (2010). The Aggressiveness of Playful Arguments. Argumentation 24 (4):405-421.
Melinda B. Fagan (2010). Social Construction Revisited: Epistemology and Scientific Practice. Philosophy of Science 77 (1):92-116.
P. X. Monaghan (2010). A Novel Interpretation of Plato's Theory of Forms. Metaphysica 11 (1):63-78.
H. E. Baber (1987). How Bad Is Rape? Hypatia 2 (2):125-138.
Jutta Rockmann (1998). Gravitational Lensing and Hacking's Extragalactic Irreality. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 12 (2):151 – 164.
Added to index2010-07-24
Total downloads11 ( #340,452 of 1,938,745 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #294,284 of 1,938,745 )
How can I increase my downloads?