The argument from underconsideration as grounds for anti-realism: A defence

The anti-realist argument from underconsideration focuses on the fact that, when scientists evaluate theories, they only ever consider a subset of the theories that can account for the available data. As a result, when scientists judge one theory to be superior to competitor theories, they are not warranted in drawing the conclusion that the superior theory is likely true with respect to what it says about unobservable entities and processes. I defend the argument from underconsideration from the objections of Peter Lipton. I argue that the inconsistency that Lipton claims to find in the argument vanishes once we understand what the anti-realist means when she claims that scientists are reliable. I also argue that collapsing the distinction between relative and absolute evaluations, as Lipton recommends, has its costs. Finally, I briefly examine Richard Boyd's influential defence of realism.
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References found in this work BETA
Martin Carrier (1991). What is Wrong with the Miracle Argument??☆. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 22 (1):23-36.
Citations of this work BETA
Timothy D. Lyons (2009). Non-Competitor Conditions in the Scientific Realism Debate. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 23 (1):65-84.
Kareem Khalifa (2010). Default Privilege and Bad Lots: Underconsideration and Explanatory Inference. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 24 (1):91 – 105.
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