David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (3):537-560 (2006)
In response to historical challenges, advocates of a sophisticated variant of scientific realism emphasize that theoretical systems can be divided into numerous constituents. Setting aside any epistemic commitment to the systems themselves, they maintain that we can justifiably believe those specific constituents that are deployed in key successful predictions. Stathis Psillos articulates an explicit criterion for discerning exactly which theoretical constituents qualify. I critique Psillos's criterion in detail. I then test the more general deployment realist intuition against a set of well-known historical cases, whose significance has, I contend, been overlooked. I conclude that this sophisticated form of realism remains threatened by the historical argument that prompted it. A criterion for scientific realism Assessing the criterion A return to the crucial insight: responsibility A few case studies Assessing deployment realism.
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Citations of this work BETA
James Ladyman (2011). Structural Realism Versus Standard Scientific Realism: The Case of Phlogiston and Dephlogisticated Air. Synthese 180 (2):87 - 101.
D. Harker (2013). How to Split a Theory: Defending Selective Realism and Convergence Without Proximity. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (1):79-106.
Peter Vickers (2013). A Confrontation of Convergent Realism. Philosophy of Science 80 (2):189-211.
Gerhard Schurz (2009). When Empirical Success Implies Theoretical Reference: A Structural Correspondence Theorem. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (1):101-133.
Samuel Ruhmkorff (2014). Global and Local Pessimistic Meta-Inductions. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27 (4):409-428.
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