Beyond structural realism: Pluralist criteria for theory evaluation

Synthese 174 (3):413 - 443 (2010)
Abstract
In this paper I argue that singularist approaches to solving the Pessimistic Induction, such as Structural Realism, are unacceptable, but that when a pluralist account of methodological principles is adopted this anti-realist argument can be dissolved. The proposed view is a contextual methodological pluralism in the tradition of Normative Naturalism, and is justified by appeal to meta-methodological principles that are themselves justified via an externalist epistemology. Not only does this view provide an answer to the Pessimistic Induction, it can also accommodate our strongest intuitions regarding the progress of science.
Keywords Structural Realism  Pluralism  Theory choice  Pessimistic Induction  Preservativism  Epistemic desiderata  Methodology
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References found in this work BETA
Richard Boyd (1984). Scientific Realism. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 21 (1&2):767-791.
Richard Boyd (1980). Scientific Realism and Naturalistic Epistemology. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1980:613-662.
Anjan Chakravartty (1998). Semirealism. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 29 (3):391-408.

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