David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Synthese 180 (2):139 - 155 (2011)
This paper outlines a defense of scientific realism against the pessimistic meta-induction which appeals to the phenomenon of the exponential growth of science. Here, scientific realism is defined as the view that our current successful scientific theories are mostly approximately true, and pessimistic meta-induction is the argument that projects the occurrence of past refutations of successful theories to the present concluding that many or most current successful scientific theories are false. The defense starts with the observation that at least 80% of all scientific work ever done has been done since 1950, proceeds with the claim that practically all of our most successful theories were entirely stable during that period of time, and concludes that the projection of refutations of successful theories to the present is unsound. In addition to this defense, the paper offers a framework through which scientific realism can be compared with two types of anti-realism. The framework is also of help to examine the relationships between these three positions and the three main arguments offered respectively in their support (No-miracle argument, pessimistic meta-induction, underdetermination)
|Keywords||Scientific realism Pessimistic meta-induction Exponential growth of science Empiricism No-miracles argument|
|Categories||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
Alexander Bird (2007). What is Scientific Progress? Noûs 41 (1):64–89.
Michael Devitt (2008). Realism/Anti-Realism. In Stathis Psillos & Martin Curd (eds.), Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Science. Routledge. 224--235.
Ludwig Fahrbach (2009). Pessimistic Meta-Induction and the Exponential Growth of Science1. In Hieke Alexander & Leitgeb Hannes (eds.), Reduction, Abstraction, Analysis. Ontos Verlag. 11--95.
André Kukla (1998). Studies in Scientific Realism. Oxford University Press.
James Ladyman (2007). Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalized. Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
K. Brad Wray (2013). The Pessimistic Induction and the Exponential Growth of Science Reassessed. Synthese 190 (18):4321-4330.
Similar books and articles
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.
Michael Devitt (2011). Are Unconceived Alternatives a Problem for Scientific Realism? Journal for General Philosophy of Science 42 (2):285-293.
Marc Lange (2002). Baseball, Pessimistic Inductions and the Turnover Fallacy. Analysis 62 (4):281–285.
Anjan Chakravartty (2008). What You Don't Know Can't Hurt You: Realism and the Unconceived. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 137 (1):149 - 158.
Gerald Doppelt (2007). Reconstructing Scientific Realism to Rebut the Pessimistic Meta-Induction. Philosophy of Science 74 (1):96-118.
Seungbae Park (2011). A Confutation of the Pessimistic Induction. Journal for General Philosophy of Science 42 (1):75-84.
Michael A. Bishop (2003). The Pessimistic Induction, the Flight to Reference and the Metaphysical Zoo. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 17 (2):161 – 178.
Added to index2009-05-29
Total downloads72 ( #22,388 of 1,140,107 )
Recent downloads (6 months)12 ( #16,844 of 1,140,107 )
How can I increase my downloads?