David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 38 (2):299 - 313 (2007)
Pragmatic Scientific Realism (PSR) urges us to take up the realist aim or the goal of truth although we have good reason to think that the goal can neither be attained nor approximated. While Newton-Smith thinks that pursuing what we know we cannot achieve is clearly irrational, Rescher disagrees and contends that pursuing an unreachable goal can be rational on pragmatic grounds—if in pursuing the unreachable goal one can get indirect benefits. I have blocked this attempt at providing a pragmatic justification for the realist aim of PSR on precisely the same pragmatic grounds—since there is a competing alternative to PSR, and the alternative can provide whatever indirect benefits PSR can offer while being less risky than it is, prudential reasoning favours the alternative to PSR. This undermines the pragmatic case for the realist aim of science since the instrumentalist alternative does not aim at the truth.
|Keywords||Pragmatism Scientific realism Constructive empiricism Instrumentalism Nicholas Rescher|
|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
Karl R. Popper (1989/2002). Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge. Routledge.
Karl R. Popper (1972). Objective Knowledge. Oxford,Clarendon Press.
Bas C. Van Fraassen (1980). The Scientific Image. Oxford University Press.
Ernest Nagel (1961). The Structure of Science: Problems in the Logic of Scientific Explanation. Harcourt, Brace & World.
W. Newton-Smith (1981). The Rationality of Science. Routledge & Kegan Paul.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Teed Rockwell, Beyond Eliminative Materialism: Some Unnoticed Implications of Paul Churchland's Pragmatic Pluralism.
Christopher Tollefsen (2000). What Would John Dewey Do? The Promises and Perils of Pragmatic Bioethics. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 25 (1):77 – 106.
Sami Pihlström (1996). Getting Ontologically Natural. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 10 (3):247-256.
Peter Achinstein (1984). The Pragmatic Character of Explanation. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1984:275 - 292.
Jacob Ross & Mark Schroeder (2014). Belief, Credence, and Pragmatic Encroachment1. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (2):259-288.
Newton C. A. Da Costa, Otávio Bueno & Steven French (1998). The Logic of Pragmatic Truth. Journal of Philosophical Logic 27 (6):603-620.
Brian Ellis (1988). Internal Realism. Synthese 76 (3):409 - 434.
Wang-Yen Lee (2009). A Pragmatic Case Against Pragmatic Theological Realism. Heythrop Journal 50 (3):479-494.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads110 ( #29,356 of 1,778,182 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #291,352 of 1,778,182 )
How can I increase my downloads?