David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophy of Science 71 (3):320-338 (2004)
The no-miracles argument and the pessimistic induction are arguably the main considerations for and against scientific realism. Recently these arguments have been accused of embodying a familiar, seductive fallacy. In each case, we are tricked by a base rate fallacy, one much-discussed in the psychological literature. In this paper we consider this accusation and use it as an explanation for why the two most prominent `wholesale' arguments in the literature seem irresolvable. Framed probabilistically, we can see very clearly why realists and anti-realists have been talking past one another. We then formulate a dilemma for advocates of either argument, answer potential objections to our criticism, discuss what remains (if anything) of these two major arguments, and then speculate about a future philosophy of science freed from these two arguments. In so doing, we connect the point about base rates to the wholesale/retail distinction; we believe it hints at an answer of how to distinguish profitable from unprofitable realism debates. In short, we offer a probabilistic analysis of the feeling of ennui afflicting contemporary philosophy of science.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Jacob Stegenga (2009). Robustness, Discordance, and Relevance. Philosophy of Science 76 (5):650-661.
James Ladyman (2011). Structural Realism Versus Standard Scientific Realism: The Case of Phlogiston and Dephlogisticated Air. Synthese 180 (2):87 - 101.
Moti Mizrahi (2013). The Pessimistic Induction: A Bad Argument Gone Too Far. Synthese 190 (15):3209-3226.
Roman Frigg & Ioannis Votsis (2011). Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Structural Realism but Were Afraid to Ask. European Journal for Philosophy of Science 1 (2):227-276.
K. Brad Wray (2013). Success and Truth in the Realism/Anti-Realism Debate. Synthese 190 (9):1719-1729.
Similar books and articles
Peter J. Lewis (2001). Why the Pessimistic Induction is a Fallacy. Synthese 129 (3):371--380.
Adam S. Goodie (1997). Direct Experience is Ecologically Valid. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (4):777-778.
Christopher R. Wolfe (2007). Adaptive Redundancy, Denominator Neglect, and the Base-Rate Fallacy. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 30 (3):286-287.
Aris Spanos (2010). Is Frequentist Testing Vulnerable to the Base-Rate Fallacy? Philosophy of Science 77 (4):565-583.
Ranald R. Macdonald (1997). Base Rates and Randomness. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (4):778-778.
Laura Macchi (1997). Pragmatically Before Ecologically Valid Tasks. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (4):778-779.
Jonathan J. Koehler (1997). A Farewell to Normative Null Hypothesis Testing in Base Rate Research. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (4):780-782.
Brian J. Gibbs (1997). Evolving Null Hypotheses and the Base Rate Fallacy: A Functional Interpretation of Scientific Myth. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (4):776-777.
Jonathan E. Adler (1997). If the Base Rate Fallacy is a Fallacy, Does It Matter How Frequently It is Committed? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (4):774-775.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads107 ( #22,191 of 1,725,430 )
Recent downloads (6 months)13 ( #53,187 of 1,725,430 )
How can I increase my downloads?