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  1.  86
    Timothy D. Lyons (2006). Scientific Realism and the Stratagema de Divide Et Impera. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (3):537-560.
    In response to historical challenges, advocates of a sophisticated variant of scientific realism emphasize that theoretical systems can be divided into numerous constituents. Setting aside any epistemic commitment to the systems themselves, they maintain that we can justifiably believe those specific constituents that are deployed in key successful predictions. Stathis Psillos articulates an explicit criterion for discerning exactly which theoretical constituents qualify. I critique Psillos's criterion in detail. I then test the more general deployment realist intuition against a set of (...)
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  2. Timothy D. Lyons (2003). Explaining the Success of a Scientific Theory. Philosophy of Science 70 (5):891-901.
    Scientific realists have claimed that the posit that our theories are (approximately) true provides the best or the only explanation for their success . In response, I revive two non-realists explanations. I show that realists, in discarding them, have either misconstrued the phenomena to be explained or mischaracterized the relationship between these explanations and their own. I contend nonetheless that these non-realist competitors, as well as their realist counterparts, should be rejected; for none of them succeed in explaining a significant (...)
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  3.  5
    Timothy D. Lyons (forthcoming). Epistemic Selectivity, Historical Threats, and the Non-Epistemic Tenets of Scientific Realism. Synthese:1-17.
    The scientific realism debate has now reached an entirely new level of sophistication. Faced with increasingly focused challenges, epistemic scientific realists have appropriately revised their basic meta-hypothesis that successful scientific theories are approximately true: they have emphasized criteria that render realism far more selective and, so, plausible. As a framework for discussion, I use what I take to be the most influential current variant of selective epistemic realism, deployment realism. Toward the identification of new case studies that challenge this form (...)
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  4. Timothy D. Lyons (2009). Non-Competitor Conditions in the Scientific Realism Debate. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 23 (1):65-84.
    A general insight of 20th-century philosophy of science is that the acceptance of a scientific theory is grounded, not merely on a theory's relation to data, but on its status as having no, or being superior to its, competitors. I explore the ways in which scientific realists might be thought to utilise this insight, have in fact utilised it, and can legitimately utilise it. In more detail, I point out that, barring a natural but mistaken characterisation of scientific realism, traditional (...)
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  5. Timothy D. Lyons (2011). The Problem of Deep Competitors and the Pursuit of Epistemically Utopian Truths. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 42 (2):317-338.
    According to standard scientific realism, science seeks truth and we can justifiably believe that our successful theories achieve, or at least approximate, that goal. In this paper, I discuss the implications of the following competitor thesis: Any theory we may favor has competitors such that we cannot justifiably deny that they are approximately true. After defending that thesis, I articulate three specific threats it poses for standard scientific realism; one is epistemic, the other two are axiological (that is, pertaining to (...)
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  6.  37
    Timothy D. Lyons (2009). Criteria for Attributing Predictive Responsibility in the Scientific Realism Debate: Deployment, Essentiality, Belief, Retention …. Human Affairs 19 (2).
    The most promising contemporary form of epistemic scientific realism is based on the following intuition: Belief should be directed, not toward theories as wholes, but toward particular theoretical constituents that are responsible for, or deployed in, key successes. While the debate on deployment realism is quite fresh, a significant degree of confusion has already entered into it. Here I identify five criteria that have sidetracked that debate. Setting these distractions aside, I endeavor to redirect the attention of both realists and (...)
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  7.  77
    Timothy D. Lyons (2012). Axiological Scientific Realism and Methodological Prescription. In Henk W. de Regt (ed.), Epsa Philosophy of Science: Amsterdam 2009. Springer 187--197.
    In this paper I distinguish between two kinds of meta-hypotheses, or hypotheses about science, at issue in the scientific realism debate. The first are descriptive empirical hypotheses regarding the nature of scientific inquiry. The second are epistemological theories about what individuals should / can justifiably believe about scientific theories. Favoring the realist Type-D meta-hypotheses, I argue that a particular set of realist and non-realist efforts in the debate over Type-E’s have been valuable in the quest to describe and understand the (...)
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  8. Timothy D. Lyons (2005). Toward a Purely Axiological Scientific Realism. Erkenntnis 63 (2):167 - 204.
    The axiological tenet of scientific realism, “science seeks true theories,” is generally taken to rest on a corollary epistemological tenet, “we can justifiably believe that our successful theories achieve (or approximate) that aim.” While important debates have centered on, and have led to the refinement of, the epistemological tenet, the axiological tenet has suffered from neglect. I offer what I consider to be needed refinements to the axiological postulate. After showing an intimate relation between the refined postulate and ten theoretical (...)
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  9.  34
    Timothy D. Lyons (2014). A Historically Informed Modus Ponens Against Scientific Realism: Articulation, Critique, and Restoration. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27 (4):369-392.
    There are two primary arguments against scientific realism, one pertaining to underdetermination, the other to the history of science. While these arguments are usually treated as altogether distinct, P. Kyle Stanford's ‘problem of unconceived alternatives’ constitutes one kind of synthesis: I propose that Stanford's argument is best understood as a broad modus ponens underdetermination argument, into which he has inserted a unique variant of the historical pessimistic induction. After articulating three criticisms against Stanford's argument and the evidence that he offers, (...)
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  10. Timothy D. Lyons (2006). Inference to the Best Explanation, by Peter Lipton. [REVIEW] British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (1):255-258.
  11. Timothy D. Lyons (2005). Toward a Purely Axiological Scientific Realism. Erkenntnis 63 (2):167-204.
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