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  1. Explanatory Consolidation: From 'Best' to 'Good Enough'.Finnur Dellsén - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    In science and everyday life, we often infer that something is true because it would explain some set of facts better than any other hypothesis we can think of. But what if we have reason to believe that there is a better way to explain these facts that we just haven't thought of? Wouldn't that undermine our warrant for believing the best available explanation? Many philosophers have assumed that we can solve such underconsideration problems by stipulating that a hypothesis should (...)
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  2. The Relativity of Theory by Moti Mizrahi: Reply by the Author.Moti Mizrahi - forthcoming - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A.
  3. Explanation and Explanationism in Science and Metaphysics.Juha Saatsi - forthcoming - In Matthew Slater & Zanja Yudell (eds.), Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Science: New Essays. Oxford University Press.
    This chapter examines the status of inference to the best explanation in naturalistic metaphysics. The methodology of inference to the best explanation in metaphysics is studied from the perspective of contemporary views on scientific explanation and explanatory inferences in the history and philosophy of science. This reveals serious shortcomings in prevalent attempts to vindicate metaphysical "explanationism" by reference to similarities between science and naturalistic metaphysics. This critique is brought out by considering a common gambit of methodological unity: (1) Both metaphysics (...)
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  4. On the Argument From Double Spaces: A Reply to Moti Mizrahi.Seungbae Park - 2021 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 10 (2):1-6.
    Van Fraassen infers the truth of the contextual theory from his observation that it has passed a crucial test. Mizrahi infers the comparative truth of our best theories from his observation that they are more successful than their competitors. Their inferences require, according to the argument from double spaces, the prior belief that it is more likely that their target theories were pulled out from the T-space than from the O-space. The T-space is the logical space of unconceived theories whose (...)
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  5. Modal Empiricism: Interpreting Science Without Scientific Realism.Quentin Ruyant - 2021 - Springer International Publishing.
    This book proposes a novel position in the debate on scientific realism: Modal Empiricism. Modal empiricism is the view that the aim of science is to provide theories that correctly delimit, in a unified way, the range of experiences that are naturally possible given our position in the world. The view is associated with a pragmatic account of scientific representation and an original notion of situated modalities, together with an inductive epistemology for modalities. It purports to provide a faithful account (...)
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  6. The Relativity of Theory: Key Positions and Arguments in the Contemporary Scientific Realism/Antirealism Debate.Moti Mizrahi - 2020 - Cham, Switzerland: Springer.
    This book offers a close and rigorous examination of the arguments for and against scientific realism and introduces key positions in the scientific realism/antirealism debate, which is one of the central debates in contemporary philosophy of science. On the one hand, scientific realists argue that we have good reasons to believe that our best scientific theories are approximately true because, if they were not even approximately true, they would not be able to explain and predict natural phenomena with such impressive (...)
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  7. The Appearance and the Reality of a Scientific Theory.Seungbae Park - 2020 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 9 (11):59-69.
    Scientific realists claim that the best of successful rival theories is (approximately) true. Relative realists object that we cannot make the absolute judgment that a theory is successful, and that we can only make the relative judgment that it is more successful than its competitor. I argue that this objection is undermined by the cases in which empirical equivalents are successful. Relative realists invoke the argument from a bad lot to undermine scientific realism and to support relative realism. In response, (...)
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  8. Inference to the Best Explanation: The Case of Potential Energy.Peter J. Riggs - 2020 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 16 (1):99-116.
    It has been claimed that kinetic energy is an objective physical quantity whilst at the same time maintaining that potential energy is not. However, by making use of the method of ‘inference to the best explanation’, it may be readily concluded that potential energy is indeed an objective physical quantity. This is done for an example drawn from the foundations of modern chemistry. In order to do so, the criteria of what counts as ‘most probable’ and ‘most reasonable’ are defined (...)
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  9. Abduction as a Method of Inductive Metaphysics.Gerhard Schurz - 2020 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 98 (1):50-74.
    Like scientific theories, metaphysical theories can and should be justified by the inference of creative abduction. Two rationality conditions are proposed that distinguish scientific from speculative abductions: achievement of unification and independent testability. Particularly important in science is common cause abduction. The justification of metaphysical realism is structurally similar to scientific abductions: external objects are justified as common causes of perceptual experiences. While the reliability of common cause abduction is entailed by a principle of causality, the latter principle has an (...)
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  10. Still Resisting: Replies to My Critics: K. Brad Wray: Resisting Scientific Realism, Cambridge University Press, 2018, 224 Pp., $105 HB. [REVIEW]K. Brad Wray - 2020 - Metascience 29 (1):33-40.
  11. Sobre la polaridad simpatía-antipatía en la interpretación hipocrática de la phýsis humana.Ruy J. Henriquez Garrido - 2019 - Agora 38 (2).
    The purpose of this paper is studying the importance of the antithetical pair sympathy-antipathy, as an interpretive instrument of the human phýsis in the Hippocratic medical epistemology. His study aims to be a contribution to the understanding of the methods of inference developed by ancient medicine, in parallel to the demonstrative method.
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  12. Van Fraassen, a inferência da melhor explicação e a Matrix realista.Alessio Gava - 2019 - Problemata 10 (1):267-283.
    In a recent work published in this journal, “Van Fraassen e a inferência da melhor explicação” (2016), Minikoski and Rodrigues da Silva identify four critical lines proposed by Bas van Fraassen against the form of abductive reasoning known as ‘inference to the best explanation’ (IBE). The first one, put forward by the Dutch philosopher in his seminal book The Scientific Image (1980), concerns the distinction between observable and unobservable entities. Minikoski and Rodrigues da Silva consider that the distinction is of (...)
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  13. The Disastrous Implications of the 'English' View of Rationality in a Social World.Seungbae Park - 2019 - Social Epistemology 33 (1):88-99.
    Van Fraassen (2007, 2017) consistently uses the English view of rationality to parry criticisms from scientific realists. I assume for the sake of argument that the English view of rationality is tenable, and then argue that it has disastrous implications for van Fraassen’s (1980) contextual theory of explanation, for the empiricist position that T is empirically adequate, and for scientific progress. If you invoke the English view of rationality to rationally disbelieve that your epistemic colleagues’ theories are true, they might, (...)
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  14. Structural Realism or Modal Empiricism?Quentin Ruyant - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (4):1051-1072.
    Structural realism has been suggested as the best compromise in the debate on scientific realism. It proposes that we should be realist about the relational structure of the world, not its nature. However, it faces an important objection, first raised by Newman against Russell: if relations are not qualified, then the position is either trivial or collapses into empiricism, but if relations are too strongly qualified, then it is no longer SR. A way to overcome this difficulty is to talk (...)
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  15. Towards a Realistic Success-to-Truth Inference for Scientific Realism.Peter Vickers - 2019 - Synthese 196 (2):571-585.
    A success-to-truth inference has always been at the heart of scientific realist positions. But all attempts to articulate the inference have met with very significant challenges. This paper reconstructs the evolution of this inference, and brings together a number of qualifications in an attempt to articulate a contemporary success-to-truth inference which is realistic. I argue that this contemporary version of the inference has a chance, at least, of overcoming the historical challenges which have been proffered to date. However, there is (...)
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  16. O Argumento do Milagre comete a Falácia da Taxa-base? Apresentação, Estado da Arte e Questões de Formalização.Pedro Bravo De Souza - 2018 - Intuitio 11 (1):46-64.
    Objetivamos discutir a crítica, avançada por Colin Howson em Hume's problem, segundo a qual o argumento do milagre (doravante, AM) comete a falácia da taxa-base. Por falácia da taxa-base, entende-se a negligência do valor da probabilidade prévia de determinada hipótese ou teoria T, P(T). Por sua vez, em uma de suas versões, AM assere que apenas assumindo que uma teoria científica madura T é aproximadamente verdadeira não faz de seu sucesso preditivo um milagre. Formalizado probabilisticamente, Howson argumenta que a conclusão (...)
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  17. Truth-Seeking by Abduction.Ilkka Niiniluoto - 2018 - Springer.
  18. ¿Es el realista científico un realista de leyes naturales?Edgar Eduardo Rojas Duran - 2018 - Endoxa 41:277.
    In this paper, I argue that if one is already an advocate of scientific realism, then one would be also a realist about laws of nature. To show this, I argue that only scientific realists would accept that non-accidental regularities require explanation and that their genuine explanation is given by laws of nature. Then, from this conclusion, it seems that scientific realists have reason to believe that there are laws of nature in an objective sense. If this is correct, the (...)
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  19. Realism and the Limits of Explanatory Reasoning.Juha Saatsi - 2018 - In The Routledge Handbook of Scientific Realism. London: Routledge. pp. 200-211.
    This chapter examines issues surrounding inference to the best explanation, its justification, and its role in different arguments for scientific realism, as well as more general issues concerning explanations’ ontological commitments. Defending the reliability of inference to the best explanation has been a central plank in various realist arguments, and realists have drawn various ontological conclusions from the premise that a given scientific explanation best explains some phenomenon. This chapter stresses the importance of thinking carefully about the nature of explanation (...)
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  20. A New Twist to the No Miracles Argument for the Success of Science.K. Brad Wray - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 69:86-89.
    J. D. Trout has recently developed a new defense of scientific realism, a new version of the No Miracles Argument. I critically evaluate Trout’s novel defense of realism. I argue that Trout’s argument for scientific realism and the related explanation for the success of science are self-defeating. In the process of arguing against the traditional realist strategies for explaining the success of science, he inadvertently undermines his own argument.
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  21. Resisting Scientific Realism.K. Brad Wray - 2018 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    In this book K. Brad Wray provides a comprehensive survey of the arguments against scientific realism. In addition to presenting logical considerations that undermine the realists' inferences to the likely truth or approximate truth of our theories, he provides a thorough assessment of the evidence from the history of science. He also examines grounds for a defence of anti-realism, including an anti-realist explanation for the success of our current theories, an account of why false theories can be empirically successful, and (...)
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  22. 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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  23. The Unificatory Power of Scientific Realism.Seungbae Park - 2017 - Disputatio 9 (44):59–73.
    The no-miracles argument (Putnam, 1975) holds that science is successful because successful theories are (approximately) true. Frost-Arnold (2010) objects that this argument is unacceptable because it generates neither new predictions nor unifications. It is similar to the unacceptable explanation that opium puts people to sleep because it has a dormative virtue. I reply that on close examination, realism explains not only why some theories are successful but also why successful theories exist in current science. Therefore, it unifies the disparate phenomena.
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  24. Scientific Antirealists Have Set Fire to Their Own Houses.Seungbae Park - 2017 - Prolegomena 16 (1):23-37.
    Scientific antirealists run the argument from underconsideration against scientific realism. I argue that the argument from underconsideration backfires on antirealists’ positive philosophical theories, such as the contextual theory of explanation (van Fraassen, 1980), the English model of rationality (van Fraassen, 1989), the evolutionary explanation of the success of science (Wray, 2008; 2012), and explanatory idealism (Khalifa, 2013). Antirealists strengthen the argument from underconsideration with the pessimistic induction against current scientific theories. In response, I construct a pessimistic induction against antirealists that (...)
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  25. El lado epistemológico de las abducciones: La creatividad en las verdades-proyectadas.Alger Sans Pinillos - 2017 - Revista Iberoamericana de Argumentación 1 (15):77-91.
    In this article I try to show that the epistemological component of abductions is creativity and, to do so, I will use an analysis of Thagard's concept of projected-truth as well as reflections on Łukasiewicz's creativity. In the third part I present a real case, using Thagard's theory and introducing Hanson, to make the transition from logical and computational discourse to philosophy of science. At the end I will address one of the current challenges in order to explain creativity namely (...)
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  26. 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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  27. Iconicity and Abduction.Rocco Gangle & Gianluca Caterina - 2016 - New York, USA: Springer.
  28. Commentary on “The Strategic Formulation of Abductive Arguments in Everyday Reasoning”.John R. Welch - 2016 - Argumentation, Objectivity, and Bias: Proceedings of the 11th International Conference of the Ontario Society for the Study of Argumentation (OSSA).
    Henrike Jansen’s “The strategic formulation of abductive arguments in everyday reasoning” insightfully explores the terrain of abductive argumentation. The purpose of this note is to continue the exploration along lines marked out by her paper. This further exploration proceeds in two stages. Section 2 of the paper addresses the nature of abductive inference by distinguishing two types of abduction, identifying some of abduction’s formal and nonformal properties, and relating abduction to enthymematic inference. Section 3 focuses on some of Jansen’s examples, (...)
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  29. Explanatory Rivals and the Ultimate Argument.Finnur Dellsén - 2015 - 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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  30. Historical Inductions: New Cherries, Same Old Cherry-Picking.Moti Mizrahi - 2015 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 29 (2):129-148.
    In this article, I argue that arguments from the history of science against scientific realism, like the arguments advanced by P. Kyle Stanford and Peter Vickers, are fallacious. The so-called Old Induction, like Vickers's, and New Induction, like Stanford's, are both guilty of confirmation bias—specifically, of cherry-picking evidence that allegedly challenges scientific realism while ignoring evidence to the contrary. I also show that the historical episodes that Stanford adduces in support of his New Induction are indeterminate between a pessimistic and (...)
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  31. Two Cornell Realisms: Moral and Scientific.Elliott Sober - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (4):905-924.
    Richard Boyd and Nicholas Sturgeon develop distinctive naturalistic arguments for scientific realism and moral realism. Each defends a realist position by an inference to the best explanation. In this paper, I suggest that these arguments for realism should be reformulated, with the law of likelihood replacing inference to the best explanation. The resulting arguments for realism do not work.
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  32. 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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  33. 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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  34. 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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  35. Between Realism and Explanation: Mark Colyvan: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Mathematics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012, X+224pp, £17.99 PB. [REVIEW]Noah Friedman-Biglin - 2014 - Metascience 23 (2):269-271.
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  36. Should the No-Miracle Argument Add to Scientific Evidence?Wang-Yen Lee - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (4):999-1004.
    Lipton contends that the no-miracle argument is illegitimate, because it fails to adduce new evidence beyond that cited by scientists for their theories. The debate on this issue between Lipton and Psillos has focussed on whether there is a construal of the no-miracle argument in relation to first-order scientific inferences that can yield new evidence. I move away from this focus without taking sides, and argue that the no-miracle argument, on its two popular interpretations, is as legitimate, cogent, and useful (...)
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  37. Constructive Empiricism: Normative or Descriptive?Moti Mizrahi - 2014 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 22 (4):604-616.
    In this paper, I argue that Constructive Empiricism (CE) is ambiguous between two interpretations: CE as a normative epistemology of science and CE as a descriptive philosophy of science. When they present CE, constructive empiricists write as if CE is supposed to be more than a normative epistemology of science and that it is meant to be responsible to actual scientific practices. However, when they respond to objections, constructive empiricists fall back on a strictly normative interpretation of CE. This ambiguity (...)
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  38. A Pessimistic Induction Against Scientific Antirealism.Seungbae Park - 2014 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 21 (1):3-21.
    There are nine antirealist explanations of the success of science in the literature. I raise difficulties against all of them except the latest one, and then construct a pessimistic induction that the latest one will turn out to be problematic because its eight forerunners turned out to be problematic. This pessimistic induction is on a par with the traditional pessimistic induction that successful present scientific theories will be revealed to be false because successful past scientific theories were revealed to be (...)
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  39. 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.
  40. 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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  41. 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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  42. Scientific Realism and the Empiricist Challenge: An Introduction to Ernan McMullin's Aquinas Lecture.Bas C. van Fraassen - 2013 - Zygon 48 (1):131-142.
    In The Inference That Makes Science, Ernan McMullin recounts the clear historical progress he saw toward a vision of the sciences as conclusions reached rationally on the basis of empirical evidence. Distinctive of this vision was his view of science as driven by a specific form of inference, retroduction. To understand this properly, we need to disentangle the description of retroductive inference from the claims made on its behalf. To end I will suggest that the real rival to McMullin's vision (...)
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  43. 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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  44. Ontic Structural Realism and Modality.Nora Berenstain & James Ladyman - 2012 - In Elaine Landry & Dean Rickles (eds.), Structural Realism: Structure, Object, and Causality. Springer.
    There is good reason to believe that scientific realism requires a commitment to the objective modal structure of the physical world. Causality, equilibrium, laws of nature, and probability all feature prominently in scientific theory and explanation, and each one is a modal notion. If we are committed to the content of our best scientific theories, we must accept the modal nature of the physical world. But what does the scientific realist’s commitment to physical modality require? We consider whether scientific realism (...)
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  45. 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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  46. Why the Ultimate Argument for Scientific Realism Ultimately Fails.Moti Mizrahi - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 43 (1):132-138.
    In this paper, I argue that the ultimate argument for Scientific Realism, also known as the No-Miracles Argument (NMA), ultimately fails as an abductive defence of Epistemic Scientific Realism (ESR), where (ESR) is the thesis that successful theories of mature sciences are approximately true. The NMA is supposed to be an Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE) that purports to explain the success of science. However, the explanation offered as the best explanation for success, namely (ESR), fails to yield independently (...)
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  47. Truth and Success, Again: Reply to Held on Generalist Versus Particularist (Anti-) Realism.Matteo Morganti - 2012 - The Reasoner 6 (6).
  48. Cognitive Abduction in the Study of Visual Culture.María G. Navarro & Noemi de Haro García - 2012 - Philosophy and Cognitive Science. Western and Eastern Studies 2:205-220.
    In this paper art history and visual studies, the disciplines that study visual culture, are presented as a field whose conjectural paradigm can be used to understand the epistemic problems associated with abduction. In order to do so, significant statements, concepts and arguments from the work of several specialists in this field have been highlighted. Their analysis shows the fruitfulness and potential for understanding the study of visual culture as a field that is interwoven with the assumptions of abductive cognition.
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  49. Counterfactuals and Scientific Realism.Michael J. Shaffer - 2012 - Palgrave MacMillan.
    This book is a sustained defense of the compatibility of the presence of idealizations in the sciences and scientific realism. So, the book is essentially a detailed response to the infamous arguments raised by Nancy Cartwright to the effect that idealization and scientific realism are incompatible.
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  50. Epistemic Privilege and the Success of Science.K. Brad Wray - 2012 - Noûs 46 (3):375-385.
    Realists and anti-realists disagree about whether contemporary scientists are epistemically privileged. Because the issue of epistemic privilege figures in arguments in support of and against theoretical knowledge in science, it is worth examining whether or not there is any basis for assuming such privilege. I show that arguments that try to explain the success of science by appeal to some sort of epistemic privilege have, so far, failed. They have failed to give us reason to believe (i) that scientists are (...)
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