Structural realism versus standard scientific realism: the case of phlogiston and dephlogisticated air
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Synthese 180 (2):87 - 101 (2011)
The aim of this paper is to revisit the phlogiston theory to see what can be learned from it about the relationship between scientific realism, approximate truth and successful reference. It is argued that phlogiston theory did to some extent correctly describe the causal or nomological structure of the world, and that some of its central terms can be regarded as referring. However, it is concluded that the issue of whether or not theoretical terms successfully refer is not the key to formulating the appropriate form of scientific realism in response to arguments from theory change, and that the case of phlogiston theory is shown to be readily accommodated by ontic structural realism
|Keywords||Structural realism Phlogiston Scientific realism|
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Citations of this work BETA
Gerald D. Doppelt (2011). From Standard Scientific Realism and Structural Realism to Best Current Theory Realism. Journal for General Philosophy of Science 42 (2):295-316.
Emma Ruttkamp-Bloem (2013). Re-Enchanting Realism in Debate with Kyle Stanford. Journal for General Philosophy of Science 44 (1):201-224.
Gerald Doppelt (2013). Explaining the Success of Science: Kuhn and Scientific Realists. Topoi 32 (1):43-51.
Christian Damböck (2014). Kuhn's Notion of Scientific Progress: “Reduction” Between Incommensurable Theories in a Rigid Structuralist Framework. Synthese 191 (10):2195-2213.
Ann-Sophie Barwich (2013). A Pluralist Approach to Extension: The Role of Materiality in Scientific Practice for the Reference of Natural Kind Terms. Biological Theory 7 (2):100-108.
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