Scientific realism and the inevitability of science

This paper examines the question of whether scientific realism is committed to the inevitability of science or is consistent with claims of the contingency of science. In order to address this question, a general characterization of the position of scientific realism is presented. It is then argued that scientific realism has no evident implications with regard to the inevitability of science. A historical case study is presented in which contingency plays a significant role, and the appropriate realist response to this case study is indicated. Finally, it is argued that, when conjoined with a reliabilist theory of method, realism does have implications for the inevitability of science.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1016/j.shpsa.2008.03.018
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 22,675
External links
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
Howard Sankey (2001). Scientific Realism: An Elaboration and a Defence. Theoria: A Journal of Social and Political Theory 98 (98):35-54.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Ian James Kidd (2016). Inevitability, Contingency, and Epistemic Humility. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 55:12-19.
Paul Hoyningen-Huene & Simon Lohse (2011). On Naturalizing Kuhn's Essential Tension. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (1):215-218.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

113 ( #37,030 of 2,048,160 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

32 ( #15,788 of 2,048,160 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.