From observability to manipulability: Extending the inductive arguments for realism

Synthese 108 (2):137 - 155 (1996)
Abstract
In recent years there have been several attempts to construct inductive arguments for some version of scientific realism. Neither the characteristics of what would count as inductive evidence nor the conclusion to be inferred have been specified in ways that escape sceptical criticism. By introducing the pragmatic criterion of manipulative efficacy for a good theory and by sharpening the specification of the necessary inductive principle, the viability of a mutually supporting pair of argument forms are defended. It is shown that by the use of these forms, taken together, a sequence of inductive arguments could be constructed, given suitable cases histories to serve as evidence. It also shown that the best inductive argument for the most daring realist claim is the weakest when compared with similarly structured arguments for less daring claims.
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Derek D. Turner (2005). Misleading Observable Analogues in Paleontology. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 36 (1):175-183.
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