David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 41 (2):192-202 (2010)
Inferences from scientific success to the approximate truth of successful theories remain central to the most influential arguments for scientific realism. Challenges to such inferences, however, based on radical discontinuities within the history of science, have motivated a distinctive style of revision to the original argument. Conceding the historical claim, selective realists argue that accompanying even the most revolutionary change is the retention of significant parts of replaced theories, and that a realist attitude towards the systematically retained constituents of our scientific theories can still be defended. Selective realists thereby hope to secure the argument from success against apparent historical counterexamples. Independently of that objective, historical considerations have inspired a further argument for selective realism, where evidence for the retention of parts of theories is itself offered as justification for adopting a realist attitude towards them. Given the nature of these arguments from success and from retention, a reasonable expectation is that they would complement and reinforce one another, but although several theses purport to provide such a synthesis the results are often unconvincing. In this paper I reconsider the realist’s favoured type of scientific success, novel success, offer a revised interpretation of the concept, and argue that a significant consequence of reconfiguring the realist’s argument from success accordingly is a greater potential for its unification with the argument from retention.Keywords: Scientific realism; Pessimistic meta-induction; Success; Progress; Aether; Novelty.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
John Worrall (1989). Structural Realism: The Best of Both Worlds? Dialectica 43 (1-2):99-124.
Steven French & James Ladyman (2003). Remodelling Structural Realism: Quantum Physics and the Metaphysics of Structure. [REVIEW] Synthese 136 (1):31-56.
Larry Laudan (1981). A Confutation of Convergent Realism. Philosophy of Science 48 (1):19-49.
J. Ladyman (1998). What is Structural Realism? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 29 (3):409-424.
Larry Laudan (2002). A Confutation of Convergent Realism. In Yuri Balashov & Alexander Rosenberg (eds.), Philosophy of Science: Contemporary Readings. Routledge 211.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Barbara Hannan (1990). `Non-Scientific Realism' About Propositional Attitudes as a Response to Eliminativist Arguments. Behavior and Philosophy 18 (2):21-31.
Michael J. Shaffer (2012). Counterfactuals and Scientific Realism. Palgrave MacMillan.
Richard Reiner & Robert Pierson (1995). Hacking's Experimental Realism: An Untenable Middle Ground. Philosophy of Science 62 (1):60-69.
Paul W. Humphreys (1984). Quantitative Probabilistic Causality and Structural Scientific Realism. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1984:329 - 342.
Stathis Psillos (2005). Scientific Realism and Metaphysics. Ratio 18 (4):385–404.
Eftichios Bitsakis (1993). Scientific Realism. Science and Society 57 (2):160 - 193.
George Graham & Terence E. Horgan (1988). How to Be Realistic About Folk Psychology. Philosophical Psychology 1 (1):69-81.
André Kukla (1994). Scientific Realism, Scientific Practice, and the Natural Ontological Attitude. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 45 (4):955-975.
James Ladyman (2011). Structural Realism Versus Standard Scientific Realism: The Case of Phlogiston and Dephlogisticated Air. Synthese 180 (2):87 - 101.
Howard Sankey & Dimitri Ginev (2011). The Scope and Multidimensionality of the Scientific Realism Debate. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 42 (2):263-283.
Jamin Asay (2013). Three Paradigms of Scientific Realism: A Truthmaking Account. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27 (1):1-21.
Added to index2010-09-14
Total downloads99 ( #38,238 of 1,790,225 )
Recent downloads (6 months)8 ( #105,905 of 1,790,225 )
How can I increase my downloads?