David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Foundations of Science 16 (1):21-30 (2011)
Putnam (1975) infers from the success of a scientific theory to its approximate truth and the reference of its key term. Laudan (1981) objects that some past theories were successful, and yet their key terms did not refer, so they were not even approximately true. Kitcher (1993) replies that the past theories are approximately true because their working posits are true, although their idle posits are false. In contrast, I argue that successful theories which cohere with each other are approximately true, and that their key terms refer. My position is immune to Laudan’s counterexamples to Putnam’s inference and yields a solution to a problem with Kitcher’s position.
|Keywords||Coherence Kitcher Laudan Putnam Success Scientific Realism|
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References found in this work BETA
Philip Kitcher (1993). The Advancement of Science: Science Without Legend, Objectivity Without Illusions. Oxford University Press.
Wesley Salmon (1984). Scientific Explanation and the Causal Structure of the World. Princeton University Press.
Laurence BonJour (1985). The Structure of Empirical Knowledge. Harvard University Press.
Elliott Sober (2000). Philosophy of Biology. Westview Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Martin Carrier (2014). Prediction in Context: On the Comparative Epistemic Merit of Predictive Success. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 45 (1):97-102.
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