Reglobalizing realism by going local, or (how) should our formulations of scientific realism be informed about the sciences?
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Erkenntnis 63 (2):231 - 251 (2005)
In order to examine the fit between realism and science, one needs to address two issues: the unit of science question (realism about which parts of science?) and the contents of realism question (which realism about science?). Answering these questions is a matter of conceptual and empirical inquiry by way local case studies. Instead of the more ordinary abstract and global scientific realism, what we get is a doubly local scientific realism based on a bottom-up strategy. Representative formulations of the former kind are in terms of the truth and reality of the posits of current science, in terms of warranted belief, in terms of mind-independent unobservable entities. Using illustrations mainly from the social sciences, doubly local scientific realism denies the global applicability of such formulations and seeks to make adjustments in their elements in response to information about local units of science: It is sufficient for a realist to give the existence of an entity (and the truth of a theory) a chance, while in some areas we may be in s position to make justified claims about actual existence (and truth). Logical inquiry-independent existence is sufficient for the social and human sciences, while mind-independence will be fine for many other domains. It should not be insisted that the theoretical posits of realist science be strict unobservables in all areas: most theoretical posits of the social sciences are idealized commonsensibles, such as elements in folk psychology. Unsurprisingly, this sort of local strategy will create space for realism that is able to accommodate larger areas of science without sacrificing traditional realist intuitions.
|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
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Bas C. van Fraassen (2003). On McMullin's Appreciation of Realism Concerning the Sciences. Philosophy of Science 70 (3):479-492.
Anjan Chakravartty (2007). A Metaphysics for Scientific Realism: Knowing the Unobservable. Cambridge University Press.
William Newton-Smith (1988). Modest Realism. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1988:179 - 189.
Michael Esfeld (2005). Scientific Realism and the History of Science. Philosophy 1:1-15.
Howard Sankey (2004). Scientific Realism and the God's Eye Point of View. Epistemologia 27 (2):211-226.
Ilkka Niiniluoto (1999). Critical Scientific Realism. Oxford University Press.
Howard Sankey (2001). Scientific Realism: An Elaboration and a Defence. Theoria: A Journal of Social and Political Theory 98 (98):35-54.
Howard Sankey (2008). Scientific Realism and the Inevitability of Science. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 39 (2):259-264.
Harold Kincaid (2000). Global Arguments and Local Realism About the Social Sciences. Philosophy of Science 67 (3):678.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads37 ( #44,185 of 1,096,547 )
Recent downloads (6 months)25 ( #4,045 of 1,096,547 )
How can I increase my downloads?