David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 45 (4):955-975 (1994)
Both sides in the debate about scientific realism have argued that their view provides a better account of actual scientific practice. For example, it has been claimed that the practice of theory conjunction presupposes realism, and that scientists' use of multiple and incompatible models presupposes some form of instrumentalism. Assuming that the practices of science are rational, these conclusions cannot both be right. I argue that neither of them is right, and that, in fact, all scientific practices are compatible with both realism and instrumentalism. I also repudiate van Fraassen's argument to the effect that the instrumentalist account of scientific practice is logically weaker, hence better, than the realist account. In the end, there are no scientific practice arguments on the table that support either side of the debate. It is also noted that the deficiencies of van Fraassen's argument are recapitulated in Putnam's miracle argument for realism. My pessimistic assessment of the state of the debate is reminiscent of Arthur Fine's. However, Fine's argument for the ‘natural ontological attitude’ once again repeats the problems of van Fraassen's and Putnam's arguments.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
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.
Sharon L. Crasnow (2000). How Natural Can Ontology Be? Philosophy of Science 67 (1):114-132.
Christopher Read Hitchcock (1992). Causal Explanation and Scientific Realism. Erkenntnis 37 (2):151 - 178.
Stathis Psillos (2012). One Cannot Be Just a Little Bit Realist: Putnam and van Fraassen. In James R. Brown (ed.), Philosophy of Science: The Key Thinkers. Continuum Books. 188.
Dan Mcarthur (2006). The Anti-Philosophical Stance, the Realism Question and Scientific Practice. Foundations of Science 11 (4):369-397.
Stathis Psillos (2000). Agnostic Empiricism Versus Scientific Realism: Belief in Truth Matters. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 14 (1):57 – 75.
Robin Findlay Hendry (2001). Are Realism and Instrumentalism Methodologically Indifferent? Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2001 (3):S25-.
Sami Pihlström (1996). Getting Ontologically Natural. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 10 (3):247-256.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads69 ( #16,519 of 1,004,292 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #22,116 of 1,004,292 )
How can I increase my downloads?