David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Scientific realism is the view that the aim of science is to produce true or approximately true theories about nature. It is a view which not only is shared by many philosophers but also by scientists themselves. Regarding Kuhn’s rejection of scientific progress, Steven Weinberg once declared: “All this is wormwood to scientists like myself, who think the task of science is to bring us closer and closer to objective truth.” But such a realist view on scientific theories is not without problems. The paper discusses some arguments for and against the ontological commitments that scientific theories may entail. The upshot is that scientific realism according to which the semantic content of theories should be understood literally is not sustainable. Instead, it is argued that only realism with respect to entities can be reasonably and practically maintained. Finally, the paper discusses structural realism which presents itself as a modern alternative to scientific realism which may meet both the optimistic no-miracle argument and the pessimistic meta-induction argument. My conclusion is that such a position is neither attractive nor defendable.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Only published papers are available at libraries|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Mauro Dorato (2011). TRUTH, LAWS AND THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE. Manuscrito 34 (1):185-204.
Howard Sankey (2001). Scientific Realism: An Elaboration and a Defence. Theoria: A Journal of Social and Political Theory 98 (98):35-54.
Howard Sankey (2004). Scientific Realism and the God's Eye Point of View. Epistemologia 27 (2):211-226.
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.
Timothy D. Lyons (2012). Axiological Scientific Realism and Methodological Prescription. In. In Henk W. de Regt (ed.), Epsa Philosophy of Science: Amsterdam 2009. Springer. 187--197.
Stathis Psillos (2005). Scientific Realism and Metaphysics. Ratio 18 (4):385–404.
Susan Vineberg (1996). Confirmation and the Indispensability of Mathematics to Science. Philosophy of Science 63 (3):263.
Gerald Doppelt (2007). Reconstructing Scientific Realism to Rebut the Pessimistic Meta-Induction. Philosophy of Science 74 (1):96-118.
Ludwig Fahrbach (2011). How the Growth of Science Ends Theory Change. Synthese 180 (2):139 - 155.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads98 ( #9,305 of 1,088,781 )
Recent downloads (6 months)17 ( #6,461 of 1,088,781 )
How can I increase my downloads?