Must the scientific realist be a rationalist?

Synthese 154 (2):329-334 (2007)
Abstract
Marc Alspector-Kelly claims that Bas van Fraassen’s primary challenge to the scientific realist is for the realist to find a way to justify the use of some mode of inference that takes him from the world of observables to knowledge of the world of unobservables without thereby abandoning empiricism. It is argued that any effort to justify such an “inferential wand” must appeal either to synthetic a priori or synthetic a posteriori knowledge. This disjunction turns into a dilemma for the empirically-minded realist as either disjunct leads to unwanted consequences. In this paper, I split the horns of this dilemma by arguing that the realist can justify one particular such mode of inference – abduction – without committing himself to rationalism. The realist may justify this mode of inference by appealing to the analytic a priori axioms of the probability calculus. I show that Peter Lipton’s tripartite defense of abduction constitutes such a method of justification.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 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: 9,351
External links
  •   Try with proxy.
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA
    Timothy McGrew (2003). Confirmation, Heuristics, and Explanatory Reasoning. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 54 (4):553-567.
    Citations of this work BETA

    No citations found.

    Similar books and articles
    Analytics

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index

    2009-01-28

    Total downloads

    74 ( #15,239 of 1,088,372 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    28 ( #3,515 of 1,088,372 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature


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