Ontological Order in Scientific Explanation

Philosophical Papers 32 (2):157-170 (2003)
A scientific theory is successful, according to Stanford (2000), because it is suficiently observationally similar to its corresponding true theory. The Ptolemaic theory, for example, is successful because it is sufficiently similar to the Copernican theory at the observational level. The suggestion meets the scientific realists' request to explain the success of science without committing to the (approximate) truth of successful scientific theories. I argue that Stanford's proposal has a conceptual flaw. A conceptually sound explanation, I claim, respects the ontological order between properties. A dependent property is to be explained in terms of its underlying property, not the other way around. The applicability of this point goes well beyond the realm of the debate between scientific realists and antirealists. Any philosophers should keep the point in mind when they attempt to give an explanation of a property in their field whatever it may be
Keywords success  Stanford  underlying property  dependent property  predictive similarity
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/05568640309485120
 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 Seungbae Park, Ontological Order in Scientific Explanation
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

View all 11 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Gerald D. Doppelt (2011). From Standard Scientific Realism and Structural Realism to Best Current Theory Realism. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 42 (2):295-316.
Valeriano Iranzo (2008). Reliabilism and the Abductive Defence of Scientific Realism. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 39 (1):115 - 120.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

191 ( #9,729 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

28 ( #34,733 of 1,726,249 )

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.