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  1. Reflections on a Classic in Scientific Realism, 20 Years Later. [REVIEW]Bas C. Van Fraassen - forthcoming - Metascience:1-9.
    Scientific realism (SR) emerged in the 1960s as a rival to logical positivism, and soon became the dominant position in philosophy of science. But by the 1990s it had encountered considerable critique and rivals of its own. Stathis Psillos set out to present a thorough, sustained defense of scientific realism in this book, a masterly achievement that still stands today not just as the presentation of a response to critics, but as a solid, coherent philosophical position of his own.
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  2. New Objections to the Problem of Unconceived Alternatives.Seungbae Park - 2019 - Filosofia Unisinos 20 (2).
    The problem of unconceived alternatives can be undermined, regardless of whether the possibility space of alternatives is bounded or unbounded. If it is bounded, pessimists need to justify their assumption that the probability that scientists have not yet eliminated enough false alternatives is higher than the probability that scientists have already eliminated enough false alternatives. If it is unbounded, pessimists need to justify their assumption that the probability that scientists have not yet moved from the possibility space of false alternatives (...)
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  3. Review of The Routledge Handbook of Scientific Realism by Juha Saatsi (Ed.). [REVIEW]Jan Arreman - forthcoming - Philosophy in Review.
    Review of The Routledge Handbook of Scientific Realism by Juha Saatsi (ed.).
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  4. On Mizrahi’s Argument Against Stanford’s Instrumentalism.Fabio Sterpetti - forthcoming - Axiomathes:1-23.
    Mizrahi’s argument against Stanford’s challenge to scientific realism is analyzed. Mizrahi’s argument is worth of attention for at least two reasons: unlike other criticisms that have been made to Stanford’s view so far, Mizrahi’s argument does not question any specific claim of Stanford’s argument, rather it puts into question the very coherence of Stanford’s position, because it argues that since Stanford’s argument rests on the problem of the unconceived alternatives, Stanford’s argument is self-defeating. Thus, if Mizrahi’s argument is effective in (...)
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  5. Metaphysics and the Vera Causa Ideal: The Nun’s Priest’s Tale.Novick Aaron - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (5):1161-1176.
    L.A. Paul has recently defended the methodology of metaphysics on the grounds that it is continuous with the sciences. She claims that both scientists and metaphysicians use inference to the best explanation to choose between competing theories, and that the success of science vindicates the use of IBE in metaphysics. Specifically, the success of science shows that the theoretical virtues are truth-conducive. I challenge Paul’s claims on two grounds. First, I argue that, at least in biology, scientists adhere to the (...)
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  6. A Pragmatic, Existentialist Approach to the Scientific Realism Debate.Curtis Forbes - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3327-3346.
    It has become apparent that the debate between scientific realists and constructive empiricists has come to a stalemate. Neither view can reasonably claim to be the most rational philosophy of science, exclusively capable of making sense of all scientific activities. On one prominent analysis of the situation, whether we accept a realist or an anti-realist account of science actually seems to depend on which values we antecedently accept, rather than our commitment to “rationality” per se. Accordingly, several philosophers have attempted (...)
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  7. Scientific Realism: What It is, the Contemporary Debate, and New Directions.Darrell Patrick Rowbottom - 2017 - Synthese:1-34.
    First, I answer the controversial question ’What is scientific realism?’ with extensive reference to the varied accounts of the position in the literature. Second, I provide an overview of the key developments in the debate concerning scientific realism over the past decade. Third, I provide a summary of the other contributions to this special issue.
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  8. Theoretical Fertility McMullin-Style.Samuel Schindler - 2017 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 7 (1):151-173.
    A theory’s fertility is one of the standard theoretical virtues. But how is it to be construed? In current philosophical discourse, particularly in the realism debate, theoretical fertility is usually understood in terms of novel success: a theory is fertile if it manages to make successful novel predictions. Another, more permissible, notion of fertility can be found in the work of Ernan McMullin. This kind of fertility, McMullin claims, gives us just as strong grounds for realism. My paper critically assesses (...)
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  9. Miracles, Trust, and Ennui in Barnes’ Predictivism.P. D. Magnus - 2011 - Logos and Episteme 2 (1):103-114.
    Eric Barnes’ The Paradox of Predictivism is concerned primarily with two facts: predictivism and pluralism. In the middle part of the book, he peers through these two lenses at the tired realist scarecrow of the no-miracles argument. He attempts to reanimate this weatherworn realist argument, contra suggestions by people like me that it should be abandoned. In this paper, I want to get clear on Barnes’ contribution to the debate. He focuses on what he calls the miraculous endorsement argument, which (...)
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  10. Knowing the Structure of Nature. Essays on Realism and Explanation. [REVIEW]Andrés Rivadulla - 2009 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 24 (3):361-365.
  11. Scientific Realism and Primitive Ontology Or: The Pessimistic Induction and the Nature of the Wave Function.Valia Allori - 2017 - Lato Sensu.
    In this paper I wish to connect the recent debate in the philosophy of quantum mechanics concerning the nature of the wave function to the historical debate in the philosophy of science regarding the tenability of scientific realism. Being realist about quantum mechanics is particularly challenging when focusing on the wave function. According to the wave function ontology approach, the wave function is a concrete physical entity. In contrast, according to an alternative viewpoint, namely the primitive ontology approach, the wave (...)
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  12. The Pessimistic Meta-Induction: Obsolete Through Scientific Progress?Florian Müller - 2015 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 29 (4):393-412.
    Recently, Fahrbach and Park have argued that the pessimistic meta-induction about scientific theories is unsound. They claim that this very argument does not properly take into account scientific progress, particularly during the twentieth century. They also propose amended arguments in favour of scientific realism, which are supposed to properly reflect the history of science. I try to show that what I call the argument from scientific progress cannot explain satisfactorily why the current theories should have reached a degree of success (...)
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  13. Towards a Realistic Success-to-Truth Inference for Scientific Realism.Peter Vickers - forthcoming - Synthese:1-15.
    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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  14. The Linguistic - Cultural Nature of Scientific Truth.Damian Islas - 2012 - Skepsis: A Journal for Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Research (3):80-88.
    While we typically think of culture as defined by geography or ethnicity (e.g., American culture, Mayan culture), the term also applies to the practices and expectations of smaller groups of people. Though embedded in the larger culture surrounding them, such subcultures have their own sets of rules like those that scientists do. Philosophy of science has as its main object of studio the scientific activity. A way in which we have tried to explain these scientific practices is from the actual (...)
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  15. Réalisme scientifique.Pierre-Yves Rochefort - 2016 - L'Encyclopédie Philosophique.
    L’attitude réaliste constitue de prime abord la posture du sens commun vis-à-vis de la science. Elle consiste à attribuer à la science l’objectif de décrire littéralement la réalité tout en lui reconnaissant la capacité, en vertu de ses méthodes, d’atteindre ce but. Si le réalisme scientifique apparait comme représentant le sens commun, il a dû, au courant du siècle dernier, s’ériger en véritable posture philosophique argumentée devant l’influence grandissante des différentes formes d’antiréalismes. Dans la mesure où la posture qu’un philosophe (...)
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  16. Molecular Reality. A Perspective on the Scientific Work of Jean Perrin. Mary Jo Nye.Sheldon J. Kopperl - 1973 - Isis 64 (1):135-136.
  17. The Applicability of Mathematics to Physical Modality.Nora Berenstain - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3361-3377.
    This paper argues that scientific realism commits us to a metaphysical determination relation between the mathematical entities that are indispensible to scientific explanation and the modal structure of the empirical phenomena those entities explain. The argument presupposes that scientific realism commits us to the indispensability argument. The viewpresented here is that the indispensability of mathematics commits us not only to the existence of mathematical structures and entities but to a metaphysical determination relation between those entities and the modal structure of (...)
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  18. Explanation Arguments for Scientific Realism and Theism – Faulty or Restricted in Scope?Jacob Busch - 2010 - SATS 11 (2).
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  19. Statistical Inference for Measures of Predictive Success.Thomas Demuynck - 2015 - Theory and Decision 79 (4):689-699.
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  20. Perilous Thoughts: Comment on van Fraassen.Helen Longino - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 143 (1):25-32.
    Bas van Fraassen’s empiricist reading of Perrin’s achievement invites the question: whose doubts about atoms did Perrin put to rest? This comment recontextualizes the argument and applies the notion of empirical grounding to some contemporary work in behavioral biology.
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  21. Deflationary Metaphysics and the Natures of Maps.Sergio Sismondo & Nicholas Chrisman - 2001 - Philosophy of Science 68 (S3):S38-S49.
    "Scientific theories are maps of the natural world." This metaphor is often used as part of a deflationary argument for a weak but relatively global version of scientific realism, a version that recognizes the place of conventions, goals, and contingencies in scientific representations, while maintaining that they are typically true in a clear and literal sense. By examining, in a naturalistic way, some relationships between maps and what they map, we question the scope and value of realist construals of maps-and (...)
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  22. Saving Unobservable Phenomena.M. Massimi - 2007 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 58 (2):235-262.
    In this paper I argue-against van Fraassen's constructive empiricism-that the practice of saving phenomena is much broader than usually thought, and includes unobservable phenomena as well as observable ones. My argument turns on the distinction between data and phenomena: I discuss how unobservable phenomena manifest themselves in data models and how theoretical models able to save them are chosen. I present a paradigmatic case study taken from the history of particle physics to illustrate my argument. The first aim of this (...)
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  23. Melia and Saatsi on Structural Realism.Zanja Yudell - 2010 - Synthese 175 (2):241-253.
    Newman’s objection is sometimes taken to be a fatal objection to structural realism (SR). However, ambiguity in the definition of “structure” allows for versions that do not succumb to Newman’s objection. In this paper, I consider some versions of SR that maintain an abstract notion of structure yet avoid Newman’s objection. In particular, I consider versions suggested by Melia and Saatsi. They reject a solution that restricts the domain of the second-order quantifiers, and argue in favor of buttressing the language (...)
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  24. Catastrophism, Uniformitarianism, and a Scientific Realism Debate That Makes a Difference.P. Kyle Stanford - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (5):867-878.
    Some scientific realists suggest that scientific communities have improved in their ability to discover alternative theoretical possibilities and that the problem of unconceived alternatives therefore poses a less significant threat to contemporary scientific communities than it did to their historical predecessors. I first argue that the most profound and fundamental historical transformations of the scientific enterprise have actually increased rather than decreased our vulnerability to the problem. I then argue that whether we are troubled by even the prospect of increasing (...)
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  25. The Paradox of Predictivism.Eric Christian Barnes - 2012 - Cambridge University Press.
    An enduring question in the philosophy of science is the question of whether a scientific theory deserves more credit for its successful predictions than it does for accommodating data that was already known when the theory was developed. In The Paradox of Predictivism, Eric Barnes argues that the successful prediction of evidence testifies to the general credibility of the predictor in a way that evidence does not when the evidence is used in the process of endorsing the theory. He illustrates (...)
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  26. Reconsidering the Argument From Underconsideration.Moti Mizrahi - unknown
    According to the argument from underconsideration, since theory evaluation is comparative, and since scientists do not have good reasons to believe that they are epistemically privileged, it is unlikely that our best theories are true. In this paper, I examine two formulations of this argument, one based on van Fraassen’s “bad lot” premise and another based on what Lipton called the “no-privilege” premise. I consider several moves that scientific realists might make in response to these arguments. I then offer a (...)
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  27. What Elements of Successful Scientific Theories Are the Correct Targets for “Selective” Scientific Realism?Dean Peters - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (3):377-397.
    Selective scientific realists disagree on which theoretical posits should be regarded as essential to the empirical success of a scientific theory. A satisfactory account of essentialness will show that the (approximate) truth of the selected posits adequately explains the success of the theory. Therefore, (a) the essential elements must be discernible prospectively; (b) there cannot be a priori criteria regarding which type of posit is essential; and (c) the overall success of a theory, or ‘cluster’ of propositions, not only individual (...)
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  28. Against Scientific Realism : New Arguments From Inconceivability.Darrell Patrick Rowbottom - unknown
    There are several existing arguments against scientific realism which rely on the notion that key alternatives are inconceivable. But there are other such arguments which have remained unarticulated. In this paper presentation, Rowbottom would chart the possibility space of such arguments, and outline some promising novel arguments for anti-realism.
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  29. Successful Seeing as an Unhappy Substitute for Seeing Success.Robert Klee - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (2):306-312,.
  30. 6 The Problem of Unconceived Alternatives.Matthias Egg - 2014 - In Scientific Realism in Particle Physics: A Causal Approach. De Gruyter. pp. 79-102.
  31. Representations and the Galilean Strategy.Laura Saller - 2009 - Conceptus: Zeitschrift Fur Philosophie 38 (94):73-90.
    The aim of this article is to show that, in his use of the word ‘representation’, Philip Kitcher is committed to a particular notion of representation, which is essential to his argument for Real Realism in his paper Real Realism: The Galilean Strategy. After a short presentation of Kitcher’s original argument for Real Realism, I show that Kitcher’s notion of representation is not indisputable. By producing an alternative version of Kitcher’s argument, one which does not rely on this term ‘representation’, (...)
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  32. Realism and Explanatory Priority.John Wright - 1997
  33. Does the Truth Matter in Science?Peter Lipton - 2005 - Arts and Humanities in Higher Education 4 (2):173-183.
    Is science in the truth business, discovering ever more about an independent and largely unobservable world? Karl Popper and Thomas Kuhn, two of the most important figures in science studies in the 20th century, gave accounts of science that are in some tension with the truth view. Their central claims about science are considered here, along with two arguments that bear directly on the truth question. One argument makes an appeal to past scientific failures to argue against the truth view; (...)
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  34. From the Caloric Theory of Heat to Maxwell's Theory of the Electromagnetic Field: How the History of Physics Mandates That Realists Re-Think Their Argument From Theoretical Success.Simon John Eades - 1998 - Dissertation, Columbia University
    It is argued that abductive arguments from theoretical success count at best against fictionalism, that scientific realists are best distinguished by their belief in the legitimacy of abduction, and that scientific realism is thus best understood as scientific anti-fictionalism. It is argued that some abductions to existential claims which are not theory-mediated have been vindicated by later observations, and that this counts in favour of the legitimacy of abduction. Attention then turns to the issue of abductive standards. It is argued (...)
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  35. Epistemic Instrumentalism, Exceeding Our Grasp.Arthur Fine - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 137 (1):135-139.
    In the concluding chapter of Exceeding our Grasp Kyle Stanford outlines a positive response to the central issue raised brilliantly by his book, the problem of unconceived alternatives. This response, called "epistemic instrumentalism", relies on a distinction between instrumental and literal belief. We examine this distinction and with it the viability of Stanford's instrumentalism, which may well be another case of exceeding our grasp.
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  36. James Robert Brown: Smoke and Mirrors: How Science Reflects Reality. [REVIEW]J. B. Kennedy - 1994 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 45 (4):1059.
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  37. Knowledge Falsely So-Called: The Theological Case Against Scientific Realism.Justin Holcomb - 2001 - Quodlibet 3.
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  38. Craig's Theorem and Scientific Instrumentalism.Cheng-Hung Lin - 1985 - Dissertation, University of California, Berkeley
    This dissertation examines the connection between Craig's theorem and scientific instrumentalism. The main question to be answered is whether the former can be used to support the latter. A negative answer to this question is defended in the dissertation. ;The first two chapters present a detailed expository account of the proof of Craig's theorem and also of the process by which theoretical terms are to be eliminated from scientific theories according to the method developed by Craig. Emphasis is placed on (...)
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  39. Realism and Progress: Why Scientists Should Be Realists: Robin Findlay Hendry.Robin Findlay Hendry - 1995 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 38:53-72.
    For as long as realists and instrumentalists have disagreed, partisans of both sides have pointed in argument to the actions and sayings of scientists. Realists in particular have often drawn comfort from the literal understanding given even to very theoretical propositions by many of those who are paid to deploy them. The scientists' realism, according to the realist, is not an idle commitment: a literal understanding of past and present theories and concepts underwrites their employment in the construction of new (...)
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  40. The Man of "Heart" - an Optimistic or Pessimistic Perspective?Anna Zmorzanka - 1983 - Roczniki Filozoficzne 31 (2):155.
  41. Prospects for Scientific Realism.Juli Kathryn Thorson Eflin - 1990 - Dissertation, University of Washington
    I begin the account of scientific realism with the intuition that we explain the behavior of an object by saying what it is and that if we can say what an object is we have an explanation of its behavior. The question the scientific realist needs to answer is whether the intuition is limited to cases in which an explanation is given in macroscopic terms or whether it can be justifiably extended to theoretical explanations. To justify extending the intuition to (...)
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  42. A Coherentist View of Theory Acceptance and Change.Mohamed Mahmoud Elsamahi - 1996 - Dissertation, University of Calgary (Canada)
    If scientific theories could be known to be true, theory acceptance would be based on the truth of theories: we would accept only true theories. But no theory can be known to be true, as will be argued in chapter 4. I argue that the main determinant of acceptance is the ability of a theory to cohere with other accepted theories. Yet intertheoretic coherence is not the only determinant of acceptance. Accepted theories should be well-constructed and have an explanatory capability (...)
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  43. The Promise of Science: Scientific Realism Without Convergence.Edmond Mark Mulaire - 1996 - Dissertation, University of California, San Diego
    The defining claim of scientific realism is that our scientific theories work because they correspond to the world--that is, because they contain terms which genuinely refer and because they make claims about the world which are genuinely true of the world. Unfortunately, it is widely assumed that to be committed to this view about the relationship between empirical success, reference, and truth is by necessity to be committed as well to the view that science is converging. It is also widely (...)
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  44. Scientific Realism and Instrumentalism: An Analysis of the Concepts of Description and Explanation.John Anthony Doody - 1974 - Dissertation, University of Notre Dame
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  45. Epistemological Issues in the Scientific Realism/Antirealism Debate: An Analysis and a Proposal.Robin Alan Collins - 1993 - Dissertation, University of Notre Dame
    I carefully analyze the two major arguments for scientific realism, what I call the Explanatory Argument for Realism and what I call the Epistemic Arbitrariness Argument . According to advocates of EAR, we should believe in realism because it is the only adequate explanation of the success of science or scientific methodology. On the other hand, according to advocates of EAA, the distinction between observable entities and unobservable entities is epistemically arbitrary, and thus, contrary to what nonrealists claim, inference to (...)
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  46. Realism, Anti-Realism, and the Success of Science.David Marcus Shein - 2002 - Dissertation, City University of New York
    According to the success argument for scientific realism, scientific realism must be true or else the success of science would be inexplicable. I contend that this argument fails: scientific realism is unable to account for the predictive successes of scientific theories. Scientific anti-realism also fails to explain these successes, as does social constructivism. I conclude that we are forced to take the second horn of the realist's dilemma and accept that the success of science is inexplicable.
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  47. Is Observation Theory Loaded?Taritmaoy Ghosh - 1999 - Indian Philosophical Quarterly 26 (3):405.
  48. Can Common Sense Realism Be Extended to Theoretical Physics?Michel Ghins - 2005 - Logic Journal of the IGPL 13 (1):95-111.
    In this paper I argue in favour of a moderate and selective version of scientific realism with respect to the existence of some physical theoretical objects and the truth of some statements about them. The analysis of common sense or ordinary experience reveals that existence and truth assertions concerning familiar objects are warranted if they satisfy what we call the criteria of presence and invariance. Ordinary objects exemplify a form or a structure determined by constant and changing features with respect (...)
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  49. SMART, J. J. C.: "Philosophy and Scientific Realism".M. C. Bradley - 1964 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 42:262.
  50. Pluto's Republic Incorporating the Art of the Soluble and Induction and Intuition in Scientific Thought.P. B. Medawar - 1982
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