Explaining the Success of a Scientific Theory

Philosophy of Science 70 (5):891-901 (2003)
Scientific realists have claimed that the posit that our theories are (approximately) true provides the best or the only explanation for their success . In response, I revive two non-realists explanations. I show that realists, in discarding them, have either misconstrued the phenomena to be explained or mischaracterized the relationship between these explanations and their own. I contend nonetheless that these non-realist competitors, as well as their realist counterparts, should be rejected; for none of them succeed in explaining a significant list of successes. I propose a related non-realist explanation of success that appears to be the most suitable among those considered.
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DOI 10.1086/377375
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Moti Mizrahi (2012). Why the Ultimate Argument for Scientific Realism Ultimately Fails. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 43 (1):132-138.
Timothy D. Lyons (2011). The Problem of Deep Competitors and the Pursuit of Epistemically Utopian Truths. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 42 (2):317-338.
Valeriano Iranzo (2008). Reliabilism and the Abductive Defence of Scientific Realism. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 39 (1):115 - 120.
Mario Alai (2012). Levin and Ghins on the “No Miracle” Argument and Naturalism. European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (1):85-110.

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