David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophy of Science 49 (4):604-615 (1982)
Many realists have maintained that the success of scientific theories can be explained only if they may be regarded as approximately true. Laurens Laudan has in turn contended that a necessary condition for a theory's being approximately true is that its central terms refer, and since many successful theories of the past have employed central terms which we now understand to be non-referential, realism cannot explain their success. The present paper argues that a realist can adopt a view of reference according to which a theory might plausibly be said to be approximately true even though its central terms do not refer, or alternatively, he may construe reference in such a way as to assign reference to a range of successful older theories which includes Laudan's purported counterexamples
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J. Ladyman (1998). What is Structural Realism? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 29 (3):409-424.
Jamin Asay (2013). Three Paradigms of Scientific Realism: A Truthmaking Account. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27 (1):1-21.
Seungbae Park (2011). A Confutation of the Pessimistic Induction. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 42 (1):75-84.
James Ladyman (2011). Structural Realism Versus Standard Scientific Realism: The Case of Phlogiston and Dephlogisticated Air. Synthese 180 (2):87 - 101.
John Worrall (1989). Structural Realism: The Best of Both Worlds? Dialectica 43 (1-2):99-124.
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