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  1. The Debate over Scientific Realism.Chrysovalantis 5. Stergiou - 2013 - In Aristidis Baltas & Kostas Stergiopoulos (eds.), Philosophy and Sciences in Twentieth Century. Crete University Press. pp. 467-498.
  2. Inference to the Best Explanation: Or, Who Won the Mill-Whewell Debate?Peter Achinstein - 1992 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 23 (2):349-364.
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  3. Levin and Ghins on the “No Miracle” Argument and Naturalism.Mario Alai - 2012 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (1):85-110.
    On the basis of Levin’s claim that truth is not a scientific explanatory factor, Michel Ghins argues that the “no miracle” argument (NMA) is not scientific, therefore scientific realism is not a scientific hypothesis, and naturalism is wrong. I argue that there are genuine senses of ‘scientific’ and ‘explanation’ in which truth can yield scientific explanations. Hence, the NMA can be considered scientific in the sense that it hinges on a scientific explanation, it follows a typically scientific inferential pattern (IBE), (...)
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  4. Scientific Realism and Explanation.Robert Almeder - 1989 - American Philosophical Quarterly 26 (3):173 - 185.
    Assuming for the sake of discussion that there is an external world, The "core" thesis of scientific realism is that some of our empirical beliefs (including the so-Called theoretical beliefs) succeed in correctly describing, In some important measure, The external world. Classical scientific realism also asserts that we are able to say justifiably just "which" of our beliefs so succeed in correctly describing the external world. This paper does not examine this last claim. Rather it seeks to defend the core (...)
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  5. Is the Best Explaining Theory the Most Probable One?Thomas Bartelborth - 2006 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 70 (1):1-23.
    Opponents of inference to the best explanation often raise the objection that theories that give us the best explanation of some phenomena need not be the most probable ones. And they are certainly right. But what can we conclude from this insight? Should we ban abduction from theory choice and work instead, for example, with a Bayesian approach? This would be a mistake brought about by a certain misapprehension of the epistemological task. We have to think about the real aims (...)
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  6. The Inference to the Best Explanation.Yemima Ben-Menahem - 1990 - Erkenntnis 33 (3):319-44.
    In a situation in which several explanations compete, is the one that is better qua explanation also the one we should regard as the more likely to be true? Realists usually answer in the affirmative. They then go on to argue that since realism provides the best explanation for the success of science, realism can be inferred to. Nonrealists, on the other hand, answer the above question in the negative, thereby renouncing the inference to realism. In this paper I separate (...)
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  7. A Digital Companion to C.S. Peirce.Mats Bergman, Sami Paavola & João Queiroz - 2014 - The Commens Working Papers: Preprints, Research Reports and Scientific Communications.
    The Commens Papers (http://www.commens.org/papers) publishes preprints, reports, and communications that deal with the philosophy, scientific contributions, and life of C. S. Peirce. The Commens Papers are primarily meant for scholarly products that lack other means of publication, but which the author wishes to bring to the attention of the research community. The papers must meet editorial approval, but they are not fully peer reviewed. -/- The Commens Papers accepts a broad variety of intellectual products in various formats, including: Conference papers, (...)
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  8. The A Priority of Abduction.Stephen Biggs & Jessica M. Wilson - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (3):735-758.
    Here we challenge the orthodoxy according to which abduction is an a posteriori mode of inference. We start by providing a case study illustrating how abduction can justify a philosophical claim not justifiable by empirical evidence alone. While many grant abduction's epistemic value, nearly all assume that abductive justification is a posteriori, on grounds that our belief in abduction's epistemic value depends on empirical evidence about how the world contingently is. Contra this assumption, we argue, first, that our belief in (...)
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  9. Scientific Realism.Richard Boyd - 1984 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 21 (1&2):767-791.
    (i) Scientific realism is primarily a metaphysical doctrine about the existence and nature of the unobservables of science. (ii) There are good explanationist arguments for realism, most famously that from the success of science, provided abduction is allowed. Abduction seems to be on an equal footing, at least, with other ampliative methods of inference. (iii) We have no reason to believe a doctrine of empirical equivalence that would sustain the underdetermination argument against realism. (iv) The key to defending realism from (...)
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  10. A Selectionist Explanation for the Success and Failures of Science.K. Brad Wray - 2007 - Erkenntnis 67 (1):81-89.
    I argue that van Fraassen's selectionist explanation for the success of science is superior to the realists' explanation. Whereas realists argue that our current theories are successful because they accurately reflect the structure of the world, the selectionist claims that our current theories are successful because unsuccessful theories have been eliminated. I argue that, unlike the explanation proposed by the realist, the selectionist explanation can also account for the failures of once successful theories and the fact that sometimes two competing (...)
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  11. Realism, Best Explanation, and Cognitive Command.Anthony Brueckner - 1998 - Philosophical Papers 27 (1):69-78.
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  12. Scientific Realism and the Indispensability Argument for Mathematical Realism: A Marriage Made in Hell.Jacob Busch - 2011 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 25 (4):307-325.
    An emphasis on explanatory contribution is central to a recent formulation of the indispensability argument for mathematical realism. Because scientific realism is argued for by means of inference to the best explanation, it has been further argued that being a scientific realist entails a commitment to IA and thus to mathematical realism. It has, however, gone largely unnoticed that the way that IBE is argued to be truth conducive involves citing successful applications of IBE and tracing this success over time. (...)
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  13. Explanation Arguments for Scientific Realism and Theism–Faulty or Restricted in Scope?Jacob Busch - 2010 - SATS: Northern European Journal of Philosophy 11 (2):161-180.
  14. No New Miracles, Same Old Tricks.Jacob Busch - 2008 - Theoria 74 (2):102-114.
    Abstract: Laudan (1984) distinguishes between two senses of success for scientific theories: (i) that a particular theory is successful, and (ii) that the methods for picking out approximately true theories are successful. These two senses of success are reflected in two different ways that the no miracles argument for scientific realism (NMA) may be set out. First, I set out a (traditional) version of NMA that considers the success of particular theories. I then consider a more recent formulation of NMA (...)
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  15. On Allan Franklin's Conjectural Realism.Marco Buzzoni - 2000 - Epistemologia 23 (1):77-98.
  16. Abduction, Competing Models and the Virtues of Hypotheses.H. G. Callaway - 2014 - In Lorenzo Magnani (ed.), (2014) Model-Based Reasoning in Science and Technology. Springer. pp. 263-280.
    This paper focuses on abduction as explicit or readily formulatable inference to possible explanatory hypotheses--as contrasted with inference to conceptual innovations or abductive logic as a cycle of hypotheses, deduction of consequences and inductive testing. Inference to an explanation is often a matter of projection or extrapolation of elements of accepted theory for the solution of outstanding problems in particular domains of inquiry. I say "projections or extrapolation" of accepted theory, but I mean to point to something broader and suggest (...)
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  17. “The Line of Beauty”.Sara Cannizzaro - 2009 - In Leonard Sbrocchi & John Deely (eds.), Semiotics. Legas Publishing. pp. 849-857.
    There seems to be a relation or some sort of 'unity' between man's works and the spontaneously occurring works produced by nature such as shells, nests, horns and so on. To use Bertalanffy's term for describing common properties of objects or systems (1973), nature's forms and human forms are isomorphic. For example, efficient structures typical of shells or plants such as spirals and radii, are very common archetypes that recur throughout the whole body of humans' architecture. A spiral form can (...)
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  18. Inference to the Best Explanation in the Debate Realism/Antirealism.Leonardo Cárdenas Castañeda - 2011 - Discusiones Filosóficas 12 (18):89 - 105.
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  19. Diagrams of the Past: How Timelines Can Aid the Growth of Historical Knowledge.Marc Champagne - 2016 - Cognitive Semiotics 9 (1):11-44.
    Historians occasionally use timelines, but many seem to regard such signs merely as ways of visually summarizing results that are presumably better expressed in prose. Challenging this language-centered view, I suggest that timelines might assist the generation of novel historical insights. To show this, I begin by looking at studies confirming the cognitive benefits of diagrams like timelines. I then try to survey the remarkable diversity of timelines by analyzing actual examples. Finally, having conveyed this (mostly untapped) potential, I argue (...)
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  20. Defensible Territory for Entity Realism.Steve Clarke - 2001 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 52 (4):701-722.
    In the face of argument to the contrary, it is shown that there is defensible middle ground available for entity realism, between the extremes of scientific realism and empiricist antirealism. Cartwright's ([1983]) earlier argument for defensible middle ground between these extremes, which depended crucially on the viability of an underdeveloped distinction between inference to the best explanation (IBE) and inference to the most probable cause (IPC), is examined and its defects are identified. The relationship between IBE and IPC is clarified (...)
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  21. Belief is Not the Issue: A Defence of Inference to the Best Explanation.Gregory W. Dawes - 2013 - Ratio 26 (1):62-78.
    Defences of inference to the best explanation (IBE) frequently associate IBE with scientific realism, the idea that it is reasonable to believe our best scientific theories. I argue that this linkage is unfortunate. IBE does not warrant belief, since the fact that a theory is the best available explanation does not show it to be (even probably) true. What IBE does warrant is acceptance: taking a proposition as a premise in theoretical and/or practical reasoning. We ought to accept our best (...)
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  22. Contrast, Inference and Scientific Realism.Mark Day & George Botterill - 2008 - Synthese 160 (2):249-267.
    The thesis of underdetermination presents a major obstacle to the epistemological claims of scientific realism. That thesis is regularly assumed in the philosophy of science, but is puzzlingly at odds with the actual history of science, in which empirically adequate theories are thin on the ground. We propose to advance a case for scientific realism which concentrates on the process of scientific reasoning rather than its theoretical products. Developing an account of causal–explanatory inference will make it easier to resist the (...)
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  23. Putting Inference to the Best Explanation in its Place.Timothy Day & Harold Kincaid - 1994 - Synthese 98 (2):271-295.
    This paper discusses the nature and the status of inference to the best explanation. We outline the foundational role given IBE by its defenders and the arguments of critics who deny it any place at all ; argue that, on the two main conceptions of explanation, IBE cannot be a foundational inference rule ; sketch an account of IBE that makes it contextual and dependent on substantive empirical assumptions, much as simplicity seems to be ; show how that account avoids (...)
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  24. The Grounding of the Scientific Endeavor: Armstrong's Inference to the Best Explanation and Van Fraassen's Concept of Symmetry.David Arie DeGroot - unknown
    The hegemony of the Inference to the Best Explanation as the rule which scientists follow in theorizing has been challenged in recent debates in philosophy of science by the concept of Symmetry. Inference to the Best Explanation as part of the Realist view of science has been most ably defended by David Armstrong. The concept of Symmetry, as part of the Constructive Empiricist view of science, is championed by Bas van Fraassen. If van Fraassen's Symmetry Principles are to become the (...)
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  25. Explanatory Rivals and the Ultimate Argument.Finnur Dellsén - 2016 - Theoria 82 (3):217-237.
    Although many aspects of Inference to the Best Explanation have been extensively discussed, very little has so far been said about what it takes for a hypothesis to count as a rival explanatory hypothesis in the context of IBE. The primary aim of this article is to rectify this situation by arguing for a specific account of explanatory rivalry. On this account, explanatory rivals are complete explanations of a given explanandum. When explanatory rivals are conceived of in this way, I (...)
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  26. Does Realism Explain Success? In Nouvelles Tendances du Réalisme: La Perspective Australienne.Michael Devitt - 1987 - Revue Internationale de Philosophie 41 (160):29-44.
  27. Does Realism Explain Success.Michael Devitt - 1987 - Revue Internationale de Philosophie 41 (1):29.
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  28. Best Theory Scientific Realism.Gerald Doppelt - 2014 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 4 (2):271-291.
    The aim of this essay is to argue for a new version of ‘inference-to-the-best-explanation’ scientific realism, which I characterize as Best Theory Realism or ‘BTR’. On BTR, the realist needs only to embrace a commitment to the truth or approximate truth of the best theories in a field, those which are unique in satisfying the highest standards of empirical success in a mature field with many successful but falsified predecessors. I argue that taking our best theories to be true is (...)
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  29. Explaining the Success of Science: Kuhn and Scientific Realists.Gerald Doppelt - 2013 - Topoi 32 (1):43-51.
    In this essay, I critically evaluate the approaches to explaining the success of science in Kuhn and the works of inference-to-the-best-explanation scientific realists. Kuhn ’s challenge to realists, who invoke the truth of theories to explain their success, is two-fold. His paradigm-account of success confronts realists with the problem of theory change, and the historical fact of successful theories later rejected as false. Secondly, Kuhn ’s account of the success of science has no need to bring truth into the explanation. (...)
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  30. Does Structural Realism Provide the Best Explanation of the Predictive Success of Science?Gerald Doppelt - unknown
    I examine Carrier’s and Ladyman’s structural realist explanation of the predictive success of phlogiston chemistry. On their account, it succeeds because phlogiston chemists grasped that there is some common unobservable structure of relations underlying combustion, calcification, and respiration. I argue that this SR account depends on assuming the truth of current chemical theory of oxidation and reduction, which provides a better explanation of the success of phlogiston theory than SR provides. I defend an alternative version of inference-to-the-best-explanation scientific realism which (...)
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  31. Reconstructing Scientific Realism to Rebut the Pessimistic Meta‐Induction.Gerald Doppelt - 2007 - Philosophy of Science 74 (1):96-118.
    This paper develops a stronger version of ‘inference-to-the-best explanation’ scientific realism. I argue against three standard assumptions of current realists: realism is confirmed if it provides the best explanation of theories’ predictive success ; the realist claim that successful theories are always approximately true provides the best explanation of their success ; and realists are committed to giving the same sort of truth-based explanation of superseded theories’ success that they give to explain our best current theories’ success. On the positive (...)
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  32. Empirical Success or Explanatory Success: What Does Current Scientific Realism Need to Explain?Gerald Doppelt - 2003 - Philosophy of Science 72 (5):1076-1087.
    Against the well-known objection that in the history of science there are many theories that are successful but false, Psillos offers a three-pronged defense of scientific realism as the best explanation for the success of science. Focusing on these, I criticize Psillos’ defense, arguing that each prong is weakened when we recognize that according to realist rebuttals of the underdetermination argument and versions of empiricism, realists are committed to accounting for the explanatory success of theories, not their mere empirical adequacy (...)
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  33. From Standard Scientific Realism and Structural Realism to Best Current Theory Realism.Gerald D. Doppelt - 2011 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 42 (2):295-316.
    I defend a realist commitment to the truth of our most empirically successful current scientific theories—on the ground that it provides the best explanation of their success and the success of their falsified predecessors. I argue that this Best Current Theory Realism (BCTR) is superior to preservative realism (PR) and the structural realism (SR). I show that PR and SR rest on the implausible assumption that the success of outdated theories requires the realist to hold that these theories possessed truthful (...)
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  34. Wouldn't It Be Lovely: Explanation and Scientific Realism.I. Douven - 2005 - Metascience 14:338-343.
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  35. Abduction.Igor Douven - 2011 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Most philosophers agree that abduction (in the sense of Inference to the Best Explanation) is a type of inference that is frequently employed, in some form or other, both in everyday and in scientific reasoning. However, the exact form as well as the normative status of abduction are still matters of controversy. This entry contrasts abduction with other types of inference; points at prominent uses of it, both in and outside philosophy; considers various more or less precise statements of it; (...)
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  36. Testing Inference To The Best Explanation.Igor Douven - 2002 - Synthese 130 (3):355-377.
    Inference to the Best Explanation has become the subject of a lively debate in the philosophy of science. Scientific realists maintain, while scientific antirealists deny, that it is a compelling rule of inference. It seems that any attempt to settle this debate empirically must beg the question against the antirealist. The present paper argues that this impression is misleading. A method is described that, by combining Glymour's theory of bootstrapping and Hacking's arguments from microscopy, allows us to test IBE without (...)
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  37. Causal Warrant for Realism About Particle Physics.Matthias Egg - 2012 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 43 (2):259-280.
    While scientific realism generally assumes that successful scientific explanations yield information about reality, realists also have to admit that not all information acquired in this way is equally well warranted. Some versions of scientific realism do this by saying that explanatory posits with which we have established some kind of causal contact are better warranted than those that merely appear in theoretical hypotheses. I first explicate this distinction by considering some general criteria that permit us to distinguish causal warrant from (...)
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  38. A Critique of Localized Realism.Mohamed Elsamahi - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 72 (5):1350-1360.
    A Critique of Localized Realism Abstract In an attempt to avert Laudan’s pessimistic induction, Worrall and Psillos introduce a narrower version of scientific realism. According to this version, which can be referred to as “localized realism”, realists need not accept every component in a successful theory. They are supposed only to accept those components that led to the theory’s empirical success. Consequently, realists can avoid believing in dubious entities like the caloric and ether. This paper examines and critiques localized realism. (...)
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  39. Could Theoretical Entities Save Realism?Mohamed Elsamahi - 1994 - In David & Richard Hull & Burian (ed.), PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association. pp. 173 - 180.
    Hacking and other entity realists suggest a strategy to build scientific realism on a stronger foundation than inference to the best explanation. They argue that if beliefs in the existence of theoretical entities are derived from experimentation rather than theories, they can escape the antirealist's criticism and provide a stronger ground for realism. In this paper, an outline and a critique of entity realism are presented. It will be argued that entity realism cannot stand as a separate position from classical (...)
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  40. Review of Inference to the Best Explanation by Peter Lipton. [REVIEW]Lefteris Farmakis & Stephan Hartmann - 2005 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2005 (6).
  41. Abductive Reasoning as a Way of Worldmaking.Hans Rudi Fischer - 2001 - Foundations of Science 6 (4):361-383.
    The author deals with the operational core oflogic, i.e. its diverse procedures ofinference, in order to show that logicallyfalse inferences may in fact be right because –in contrast to logical rationality – theyactually enlarge our knowledge of the world.This does not only mean that logically trueinferences say nothing about the world, butalso that all our inferences are inventedhypotheses the adequacy of which cannot beproved within logic but only pragmatically. Inconclusion the author demonstrates, through therelationship between rule-following andrationality, that it is (...)
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  42. Scientific Inquiry as a Self-Correcting Process.Paul Forster - 2002 - The Commens Encyclopedia: The Digital Encyclopedia of Peirce Studies.
    Peirce claims that the methods of abduction, deduction and induction are jointly sufficient for the attainment of truth, regardless of the state of belief from which inquiry begins. This article summarizes Peirce’s defence of the thesis that the scientific method is self-corrective and addresses common mistakes in its interpretation.
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  43. Between Realism and Explanation.Noah Friedman-Biglin - 2014 - Metascience 23 (2):269-271.
  44. The Limits of Scientific Explanation and the No-Miracles Argument.Greg Frost-Arnold - manuscript
    There are certain explanations that scientists do not accept, even though such explanations do not conflict with observation, logic, or other scientific theories. I argue that a common version of the no-miracles argument (NMA) for scientific realism relies upon just such an explanation. First, scientists (usually) do not accept explanations whose explanans neither generates novel predictions nor unifies apparently disparate phenomena. Second, scientific realism (as it appears in the NMA) is an explanans that makes no new predictions, and fails to (...)
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  45. The No‐Miracles Argument for Realism: Inference to an Unacceptable Explanation.Greg Frost‐Arnold - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (1):35-58.
    I argue that a certain type of naturalist should not accept a prominent version of the no-miracles argument (NMA). First, scientists (usually) do not accept explanations whose explanans-statements neither generate novel predictions nor unify apparently disparate established claims. Second, scientific realism (as it appears in the NMA) is an explanans that makes no new predictions and fails to unify disparate established claims. Third, many proponents of the NMA explicitly adopt a naturalism that forbids philosophy of science from using any methods (...)
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  46. L’irréductibilité de la connaissance et l’intentionnalité en contexte de découverte abductive.Philippe Gagnon - 2011 - Laval Théologique et Philosophique 67 (2):227-258.
    Knowledge is still an enigma, with its ability to inductively bring out a pattern without restricting itself to an empirical count of situations experienced. Instead of seeing the concept as a weakened object representing an external reality, it is suggested to view knowledge as the bridging of a distance with an ability for the knower to stay connected with outward reality. Attempts at defining an external and quantitative criterion of truth are questioned, as many human performances are not likely to (...)
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  47. Iconicity and Abduction.Rocco Gangle & Gianluca Caterina - 2016 - New York, USA: Springer.
  48. Explanation and Scientific Realism.Philip Gasper - 1990 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 27:285-295.
    A few years ago, Bas van Fraassen reminded philosophers of science that there are two central questions that a theory of explanation ought to answer. First, what is a explanation—when has something been explained satisfactorily? Second, why do we value explanations? . For a long time, discussions of explanation concentrated on technical problems connected with the first of these questions, and the second was by and large ignored. But, in fact, I think it is the second question which raises the (...)
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  49. Manipulative Success and the Unreal.Axel Gelfert - 2003 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 17 (3):245-263.
    In its original form due to Ian Hacking, entity realism postulates a criterion of manipulative success which replaces explanatory virtue as the criterion of justified scientific belief. The article analyses the foundations on which this postulate rests and identifies the conditions on which one can derive a form of entity realism from it. It then develops in detail an extensive class of counterexamples, drawing on the notion of quasi-particles in condensed matter physics. While the phenomena associated with quasi-particles pass the (...)
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  50. Naturalization: Scientific Theory Appraisal and the Warrant of Physicalism.Carl John Gillett - 1997 - Dissertation, Rutgers the State University of New Jersey - New Brunswick
    My thesis addresses the status of 'naturalizations' of intentionality and the recent debate about their importance. After formulating an account of scientific theory appraisal I argue, contrary to recent critics of naturalization, that there is a place for the use of 'interlevel' properties in assessing scientific theories, but that this takes a more modest form than that assumed by the physicalist proponents of naturalization. Although I argue that we should be agnostic about the truth of the physicalist account of scientific (...)
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