Graduate studies at Western
|Abstract||The thesis focuses on what impact the use of idealizations has on the realism/anti-realism debate concerning the fundamental laws of physics. My aim is modest. It is not to present an argument for either the realist or the anti-realist position but rather to show where the debate stands once we have considered recent arguments by Laymon and Cartwright which have made use of the notion of idealization assumptions. My intent is to point out the difficulties of Laymon's argument for realism in the hope of showing what must be accomplished in providing a more convincing argument for realism. I will also suggest that although Laymon's proposal is problematic, it still poses a serious problem for van Fraassen's form of anti-realism, constructive empiricism|
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