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  1. added 2019-06-10
    A Methodological Argument Against Scientific Realism.Darrell P. Rowbottom - forthcoming - Synthese:1-15.
    First, I identify a methodological thesis associated with scientific realism. This has different variants, but each concerns the reliability of scientific methods in connection with acquiring, or approaching, truth or approximate truth. Second, I show how this thesis bears on what scientists should do when considering new theories that significantly contradict older theories. Third, I explore how vulnerable scientific realism is to a reductio ad absurdum as a result. Finally, I consider which variants of the methodological thesis are the most (...)
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  2. added 2019-06-06
    Two Arguments for Scientific Realism Unified.Harker David - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 41 (2):192-202.
    Inferences from scientific success to the approximate truth of successful theories remain central to the most influential arguments for scientific realism. Challenges to such inferences, however, based on radical discontinuities within the history of science, have motivated a distinctive style of revision to the original argument. Conceding the historical claim, selective realists argue that accompanying even the most revolutionary change is the retention of significant parts of replaced theories, and that a realist attitude towards the systematically retained constituents of our (...)
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  3. added 2019-06-05
    Book Review:Is Science Progressive? Ilkka Niiniluoto.Jarrett Leplin - 1985 - Philosophy of Science 52 (4):646-648.
  4. added 2018-02-23
    Against Selective Realism.Dana Tulodziecki - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (5):996-1007.
    It has recently been suggested that realist responses to historical cases featured in pessimistic meta-inductions are not as successful as previously thought. In response, selective realists have updated the basic divide et impera strategy specifically to take such cases into account and to argue that more modern realist accounts are immune to the historical challenge. Using a case study—that of the nineteenth-century zymotic theory of disease—I argue that these updated proposals fail and that even the most sophisticated recent realist accounts (...)
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  5. added 2018-02-23
    Abandoning the Realism Debate: Lessons From the Zymotic Theory of Disease.Dana Tulodziecki - 2017 - In Michela Massimi, Jan-Willem Romeijn & G. Schurz (eds.), EPSA 15 Selected Papers, European Studies in Philosophy of Science, Vol. 5. Springer. pp. 61--69.
  6. added 2018-02-16
    A Curious Disagreement: Response to Hoyningen-Huene and Oberheim.Howard Sankey - 2009 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 40 (2):210-212.
    In this response, doubts are expressed relating to the treatment by Hoyningen-Huene and Oberheim of the relation between incommensurability and content comparison. A realist response is presented to their treatment of ontological replacement. Further questions are raised about the coherence of the neo-Kantian idea of the world-in-itself as well as the phenomenal worlds hypothesis. The notion of common sense is clarified. Meta-incommensurability is dismissed as a rhetorical device which obstructs productive discussion.Keywords: Scientific realism; Incommensurability; Meta-incommensurability; Paul Hoyningen-HueneArticle Outline.
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  7. added 2018-02-02
    Inductive Inference in the Limit of Empirically Adequate Theories.Bernhard Lauth - 1995 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 24 (5):525 - 548.
    Most standard results on structure identification in first order theories depend upon the correctness and completeness (in the limit) of the data, which are provided to the learner. These assumption are essential for the reliability of inductive methods and for their limiting success (convergence to the truth). The paper investigates inductive inference from (possibly) incorrect and incomplete data. It is shown that such methods can be reliable not in the sense of truth approximation, but in the sense that the methods (...)
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  8. added 2018-02-02
    Is Science Progressive?Ilkka Niiniluoto.Ernan McMullin - 1987 - Isis 78 (2):260-261.
  9. added 2017-12-14
    Robust Realism for the Life Sciences.Markus Eronen - 2016 - Synthese:1-14.
    Although scientific realism is the default position in the life sciences, philosophical accounts of realism are geared towards physics and run into trouble when applied to fields such as biology or neuroscience. In this paper, I formulate a new robustness-based version of entity realism, and show that it provides a plausible account of realism for the life sciences that is also continuous with scientific practice. It is based on the idea that if there are several independent ways of measuring, detecting (...)
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  10. added 2017-08-02
    Should Scientists Embrace Scientific Realism or Antirealism?Seungbae Park - 2019 - Philosophical Forum 50 (1):147-158.
    If scientists embrace scientific realism, they can use a scientific theory to explain and predict observables and unobservables. If, however, they embrace scientific antirealism, they cannot use a scientific theory to explain observables and unobservables, and cannot use a scientific theory to predict unobservables. Given that explanation and prediction are means to make scientific progress, scientists can make more scientific progress, if they embrace scientific realism than if they embrace scientific antirealism.
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  11. added 2016-09-10
    Theory Change and Degrees of Success.Ludwig Fahrbach - 2011 - Philosophy of Science 78 (5):1283-1292.
    Scientific realism is the position that success of a scientific theory licenses an inference to its approximate truth. The argument from pessimistic meta-induction maintains that this inference is undermined due to the existence of theories from the history of science that were successful, but false. I aim to counter pessimistic meta-induction and defend scientific realism. To do this, I adopt a notion of success that admits of degrees, and show that our current best theories enjoy far higher degrees of success (...)
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  12. added 2016-08-21
    Problems with Using Evolutionary Theory in Philosophy.Seungbae Park - 2017 - Axiomathes 27 (3):321-332.
    Does science move toward truths? Are present scientific theories (approximately) true? Should we invoke truths to explain the success of science? Do our cognitive faculties track truths? Some philosophers say yes, while others say no, to these questions. Interestingly, both groups use the same scientific theory, viz., evolutionary theory, to defend their positions. I argue that it begs the question for the former group to do so because their positive answers imply that evolutionary theory is warranted, whereas it is self-defeating (...)
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  13. added 2016-07-05
    The Uniformity Principle Vs. The Disuniformity Principle.Seungbae Park - 2017 - Acta Analytica 32 (2):213-222.
    The pessimistic induction is built upon the uniformity principle that the future resembles the past. In daily scientific activities, however, scientists sometimes rely on what I call the disuniformity principle that the future differs from the past. They do not give up their research projects despite the repeated failures. They believe that they will succeed although they failed repeatedly, and as a result they achieve what they intended to achieve. Given that the disuniformity principle is useful in certain cases in (...)
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  14. added 2016-03-08
    Historical Inductions, Old and New.Juha Saatsi - 2015 - Synthese:1-15.
    I review prominent historical arguments against scientific realism to indicate how they display a systematic overshooting in the conclusions drawn from the historical evidence. The root of the overshooting can be located in some critical, undue presuppositions regarding realism. I will highlight these presuppositions in connection with both Laudan’s ‘Old induction’ and Stanford’s New induction, and then delineate a minimal realist view that does without the problematic presuppositions.
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  15. added 2015-09-08
    Robustness and Reality.Markus I. Eronen - 2015 - Synthese 192 (12):3961-3977.
    Robustness is often presented as a guideline for distinguishing the true or real from mere appearances or artifacts. Most of recent discussions of robustness have focused on the kind of derivational robustness analysis introduced by Levins, while the related but distinct idea of robustness as multiple accessibility, defended by Wimsatt, has received less attention. In this paper, I argue that the latter kind of robustness, when properly understood, can provide justification for ontological commitments. The idea is that we are justified (...)
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  16. added 2015-01-07
    How to Split a Theory: Scientific Realism and a Defence of Convergence Without Proximity.David W. Harker - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
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  17. added 2015-01-07
    How to Split a Theory: Defending Selective Realism and Convergence Without Proximity.D. Harker - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (1):79-106.
    The most influential arguments for scientific realism remain centrally concerned with an inference from scientific success to the approximate truth of successful theories. Recently, however, and in response to antirealists' objections from radical discontinuity within the history of science, the arguments have been refined. Rather than target entire theories, realists narrow their commitments to only certain parts of theories. Despite an initial plausibility, the selective realist strategy faces significant challenges. In this article, I outline four prerequisites for a successful selective (...)
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  18. added 2015-01-07
    Structural Correspondence Between Theories and Convergence to Truth.Gerhard Schurz - 2011 - Synthese 179 (2):307 - 320.
    This paper utilizes a logical correspondence theorem (which has been proved elsewhere) for the justification of weak conceptions of scientific realism and convergence to truth which do not presuppose Putnam's no-miracles-argument (NMA). After presenting arguments against the reliability of the unrestricted NMA in Sect. 1, the correspondence theorem is explained in Sect. 2. In Sect. 3, historical illustrations of the correspondence theorem are given, and its ontological consequences are worked out. Based on the transitivity of the concept of correspondence, a (...)
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  19. added 2015-01-07
    On Misunderstanding Science.Guy Robinson - 1996 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 4 (1):110 – 127.
    Abstract The paper examines the differences between Kuhn's account, in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, of the sciences as necessarily communal activities with internally set standards of procedure and achievement, and that view of the sciences which calls itself ?Scientific Realism? and regards them as striving toward, and perhaps asymptotically approaching, some external and objective reality that bestows truth or falsity on scientific theories. The main argument turns on Poincaré's demonstration that Newton's Second Law (f = ma) is not a (...)
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  20. added 2015-01-07
    Lawlikeness and the End of Science.C. Z. Elgin - 1980 - Philosophy of Science 47 (1):56-68.
    Although our theories are not precisely true, scientific realists contend that we should admit their objects into our ontology. One justification--offered by Sellars and Putnam--is that current theories belong to series that converge to ideally adequate theories. I consider the way the commitment to convergence reflects on the interpretation of lawlike claims. I argue that the distinction between lawlike and accidental generalizations depends on our cognitive interests and reflects our commitment to the direction of scientific progress. If the sciences disagree (...)
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  21. added 2014-04-19
    Review of Kyle Stanford’s Exceeding Our Grasp: Science, History and the Problem of Unconceived Alternatives. [REVIEW]Ioannis Votsis - 2007 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 21 (1):103 – 106.
    In recent years, two challenges stand out against scientific realism: the argument from the underdetermination of theories by evidence (UTE) and the pessimistic induction argument (PI). In his book, Kyle Stanford accepts the gravity of these challenges, but argues that the most serious and powerful challenge to scientific realism has been neglected. The problem of unconceived alternatives (PUA), as he calls it, is introduced in chapter one and refined in chapter two. In short, PUA holds that throughout history scientists have (...)
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  22. added 2014-03-30
    Reference Failure and Scientific Realism: A Response to the Meta-Induction.D. Cummiskey - 1992 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 43 (1):21-40.
    Pure causal theories of reference cannot account for cases of theoretical term reference failure and do not capture the scientific point of introducing new theoretical terminology. In order to account for paradigm cases of reference failure and the point of new theoretical terminology, a descriptive element must play a role in fixing the reference of theoretical terms. Richard Boyd's concept of theory constituitive metaphors provides the necessary descriptive element in reference fixing. In addition to providing a plausible account of reference (...)
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  23. added 2014-03-28
    Partial Convergence and Approximate Truth.Duncan Macintosh - 1994 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 45 (1):153-170.
    Scientific Realists argue that it would be a miracle if scientific theories were getting more predictive without getting closer to the truth; so they must be getting closer to the truth. Van Fraassen, Laudan et al. argue that owing to the underdetermination of theory by data (UDT) for all we know, it is a miracle, a fluke. So we should not believe in even the approximate truth of theories. I argue that there is a test for who is right: suppose (...)
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  24. added 2011-03-13
    In Defense of Extreme (Fallibilistic) Apriorism.B. Smith - 1996 - Journal of Libertarian Studies 12 (1):179–192.
    We presuppose a position of scientific realism to the effect (i) that the world exists and (ii) that through the working out of ever more sophisticated theories our scientific picture of reality will approximate ever more closely to the world as it really is. Against this background consider, now, the following question: 1. Do the empirical theories with the help of which we seek to approximate a good or true picture of reality rest on any non-empirical presuppositions? One can answer (...)
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