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  1. Deployment Vs. Discriminatory Realism.Mario Alai - manuscript
    The currently most plausible version of scientific realism is probably “deployment” realism, based on various contributions in the recent literature, and worked out as a unitary account in Psillos. According to it we can believe in the at least partial truth of theories, because that is the best explanation of their predictive success, and discarded theories which had novel predictive success had nonetheless some true parts, those necessary to derive their novel predictions. According to Doppelt this account cannot withstand the (...)
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  2. Introduction: Contemporary Scientific Realism and the Challenge From the History of Science.Timothy D. Lyons & Peter Vickers - forthcoming - In Timothy D. Lyons & Peter Vickers (eds.), Contemporary Scientific Realism: The Challenge from the History of Science.
  3. The Relativity of Theory by Moti Mizrahi: Reply by the Author.Moti Mizrahi - forthcoming - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A.
  4. Resisting the Historical Objections to Realism: Is Doppelt’s a Viable Solution?Mario Alai - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3267-3290.
    There are two possible realist defense strategies against the pessimistic meta-induction and Laudan’s meta-modus tollens: the selective strategy, claiming that discarded theories are partially true, and the discontinuity strategy, denying that pessimism about past theories can be extended to current ones. A radical version of discontinuity realism is proposed by Gerald Doppelt: rather than discriminating between true and false components within theories, he holds that superseded theories cannot be shown to be even partially true, while present best theories are demonstrably (...)
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  5. Predictive Success, Partial Truth and Duhemian Realism.Gauvain Leconte - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3245-3265.
    According to a defense of scientific realism known as the “divide et impera move”, mature scientific theories enjoying predictive success are partially true. This paper investigates a paradigmatic historical case: the prediction, based on Fresnel’s wave theory of light, that a bright spot should figure in the shadow of a disc. Two different derivations of this prediction have been given by both Poisson and Fresnel. I argue that the details of these derivations highlight two problems of indispensability arguments, which state (...)
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  6. Epistemic Selectivity, Historical Threats, and the Non-Epistemic Tenets of Scientific Realism.Timothy D. Lyons - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3203-3219.
    The scientific realism debate has now reached an entirely new level of sophistication. Faced with increasingly focused challenges, epistemic scientific realists have appropriately revised their basic meta-hypothesis that successful scientific theories are approximately true: they have emphasized criteria that render realism far more selective and, so, plausible. As a framework for discussion, I use what I take to be the most influential current variant of selective epistemic realism, deployment realism. Toward the identification of new case studies that challenge this form (...)
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  7. Replacing Recipe Realism.Juha Saatsi - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3233-3244.
    Many realist writings exemplify the spirit of ‘recipe realism’. Here I characterise recipe realism, challenge it, and propose replacing it with ‘exemplar realism’. This alternative understanding of realism is more piecemeal, robust, and better in tune with scientists’ own attitude towards their best theories, and thus to be preferred.
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  8. Understanding the Selective Realist Defence Against the PMI.Peter Vickers - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3221-3232.
    One of the popular realist responses to the pessimistic meta-induction is the ‘selective’ move, where a realist only commits to the ‘working posits’ of a successful theory, and withholds commitment to ‘idle posits’. Antirealists often criticise selective realists for not being able to articulate exactly what is meant by ‘working’ and/or not being able to identify the working posits except in hindsight. This paper aims to establish two results: sometimes a proposition is, in an important sense, ‘doing work’, and yet (...)
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  9. Structural Realism Versus Deployment Realism: A Comparative Evaluation.Timothy D. Lyons - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 59:95-105.
    In this paper I challenge and adjudicate between the two positions that have come to prominence in the scientific realism debate: deployment realism and structural realism. I discuss a set of cases from the history of celestial mechanics, including some of the most important successes in the history of science. To the surprise of the deployment realist, these are novel predictive successes toward which theoretical constituents that are now seen to be patently false were genuinely deployed. Exploring the implications for (...)
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  10. What is Theoretical Progress of Science?Juha Saatsi - 2016 - Synthese:1-21.
    The epistemic conception of scientific progress equates progress with accumulation of scientific knowledge. I argue that the epistemic conception fails to fully capture scientific progress: theoretical progress, in particular, can transcend scientific knowledge in important ways. Sometimes theoretical progress can be a matter of new theories ‘latching better onto unobservable reality’ in a way that need not be a matter of new knowledge. Recognising this further dimension of theoretical progress is particularly significant for understanding scientific realism, since realism is naturally (...)
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  11. What’s New About New Realism? Mereology and the Varieties of (New) Realism.Guglielmo Feis & Jacopo Tagliabue - 2015 - Philosophia 43 (4):1035-1046.
    The paper set up a small “philosophical lab” for thought experiments using Digital Universes as its main tool. Digital Universes allow us to examine how mereology affects the debate on New Realism of Ferraris and shed new light on the whole notion of Realism. The semi-formal framework provides a convenient way to model the varieties of realism that are important for the program of New Realism: we then draw the natural consequences of this approach into the ontology of our world, (...)
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  12. Methodological Realism and Modal Resourcefulness: Out of the Web and Into the Mine.Lydia Patton - 2015 - Synthese 192 (11):3443-3462.
    Psillos, Kitcher, and Leplin have defended convergent scientific realism against the pessimistic meta-induction by arguing for the divide et impera strategy. I argue that DEI faces a problem more serious than the pessimistic meta-induction: the problem of accretion. When empirically successful theories and principles are combined, they may no longer make successful predictions or allow for accurate calculations, or the combination otherwise may be an empirical failure. The shift from classical mechanics to the new quantum theory does not reflect the (...)
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  13. Philosophy of Chemistry Against Standard Scientific Realism and Anti-Realism.Rein Vihalemm - 2015 - Philosophia Scientae 19:99-113.
  14. Defending Deployment Realism Against Alleged Counterexamples.Mario Alai - 2014 - In Javier Cumpa, Greg Jesson & Guido Bonino (eds.), Defending Realism: Ontological and Epistemological Investigations. De Gruyter. pp. 265-290.
    Criticisms à la Laudan can block the “no miracles” argument for the (approximate) truth of whole theories. Realists have thus retrenched, arguing that at least the individual claims deployed in the derivation of novel predictions should be considered (approximately) true. But for Lyons (2002) there are historical counterexamples even to this weaker “deployment” realism: he lists a number of novel predictions supposedly derived from (radically) false claims. But if so, those successes would seem unexplainable, even by Lyons’ “modest surrealism” or (...)
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  15. Partial Reference, Scientific Realism and Possible Worlds.Anders Landig - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 47:1-9.
    Theories of partial reference have been developed in order to retrospectively interpret rather stubborn past scientific theories like Newtonian dynamics and the phlogiston theory in a realist way, i.e., as approximately true. This is done by allowing for a term to refer to more than one entity at the same time and by providing semantic structures that determine the truth values of sentences containing partially referring terms. Two versions of theories of partial reference will be presented, a conjunctive (by Hartry (...)
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  16. 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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  17. How to Split a Theory: Defending Selective Realism and Convergence Without Proximity.David 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. The Ultimate Argument Against Convergent Realism and Structural Realism: The Impasse Objection.Paul Hoyningen-Huene - 2013 - In EPSA11 Perspectives and Foundational Problems in Philosophy of Science, The European Philosophy of Science Association Proceedings 2. pp. 131-139.
  19. Explanatory Coherence, Partial Truth and Diagnostic Validity in Psychiatry.Panagiotis Oulis - 2013 - In Vassilios Karakostas & Dennis Dieks (eds.), Epsa11 Perspectives and Foundational Problems in Philosophy of Science. Springer. pp. 429--440.
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  20. The Indispensability Argument for Mathematical Realism and Scientific Realism.Jacob Busch - 2012 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 43 (1):3-9.
    Confirmational holism is central to a traditional formulation of the indispensability argument for mathematical realism (IA). I argue that recent strategies for defending scientific realism are incompatible with confirmational holism. Thus a traditional formulation of IA is incompatible with recent strategies for defending scientific realism. As a consequence a traditional formulation of IA will only have limited appeal.
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  21. Of Realist Turns: A Conversation with Stathis Psillos.Fabio Gironi & Stathis Psillos - 2012 - Speculations:367-427.
    Interview with Stathis Psillos regarding realism in the philosophy of science and recent realist trends in Continental Philosophy.
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  22. Dirac's Prediction of the Positron: A Case Study for the Current Realism Debate.Thomas Pashby - 2012 - Perspectives on Science 20 (4):440-475.
    Much debate has ensued regarding the challenge to scientific realism provided by consideration of certain problematic episodes of theory change in the history of science. This paper contends that there is an interesting case which has been overlooked in this debate, namely the prediction of the positron by Dirac from his ‘hole’ theory, and its subsequent replacement by a theory which failed to contain a central, and essential, theoretical posit: the ‘Dirac sea’ of negative energy electrons. Accounting for this case (...)
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  23. 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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  24. Scientific Realism and the Divide Et Impera Strategy: The Ether Saga Revisited.Alberto Cordero - 2011 - Philosophy of Science 78 (5):1120-1130.
  25. Restoring Continuity in Theory Change: The Kepler-to-Newton Case. [REVIEW]Vassilis Sakellariou - 2011 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 42 (1):109 - 127.
    In the on-going debate between scientific realism and its various opponents, a crucial role in challenging the realist claim that success of scientific theories must be attributed to their approximate truth is played by the so-called pessimistic meta-induction: Arguing that the history of science boils down to a succession of theories which, though successful at a time, were eventually discarded only to be replaced by alternative theories which in turn met with the same fate, it purports to show that the (...)
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  26. 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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  27. Scientific Realism: Between Platonism and Nominalism.Stathis Psillos - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (5):947-958.
  28. Rejected Posits, Realism, and the History of Science.Alberto Cordero - 2009 - In Henk W. de Regt (ed.), Epsa Philosophy of Science: Amsterdam 2009. Springer. pp. 23--32.
    Summary: Responding to Laudan’s skeptical reading of history an influential group of realists claim that the seriously wrong claims past successful theories licensed were not really implicated in the predictions that once singled them out as successful. For example, in the case of Fresnel’s theory of light, it is said that although he appealed to the ether he didn’t actually need to in order to derive his famous experimental predictions—in them, we are assured, the ether concept was “idle,” “inessential,” “peripheral” (...)
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  29. The Metaphysics of Scientific Realism.Brian Ellis - 2009 - Mcgill-Queen's University Press.
    Ellis shows that realistic theories of quantum mechanics, time, causality and human freedom - all problematic areas for the acceptance of scientific realism - can be developed satisfactorily. In particular, he shows how moral theory can be recast to fit within this comprehensive metaphysical framework by developing a radical moral theory that conceives morals to be social ideals and has implications for key ethical concepts such as moral responsibility, moral powers, moral rights, and moral obligations. The Metaphysics of Scientific Realism (...)
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  30. Criteria for Attributing Predictive Responsibility in the Scientific Realism Debate: Deployment, Essentiality, Belief, Retention ….Timothy D. Lyons - 2009 - Human Affairs 19 (2).
    The most promising contemporary form of epistemic scientific realism is based on the following intuition: Belief should be directed, not toward theories as wholes, but toward particular theoretical constituents that are responsible for, or deployed in, key successes. While the debate on deployment realism is quite fresh, a significant degree of confusion has already entered into it. Here I identify five criteria that have sidetracked that debate. Setting these distractions aside, I endeavor to redirect the attention of both realists and (...)
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  31. Scientific Realism and the Rationality of Science.Stathis Psillos - 2009 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (4):681-684.
  32. Diachronic Local Realism About Successful Theories.Alberto Cordero - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 43:67-71.
    A major realist response to Laudan-type historical arguments against scientific realism by seeking to identify parts of a successful scientific theory one can claim to have been "essentially" implicated in the theory’s distinctive success, which they regard as primary candidates for realist truth ascription. But, how is one to determine which parts of any theory are "central" or "peripheral", "essential" or "idle" in the required sense? Attempts at spelling out relevant synchronic links between successful predictions and correct partial theorizing increasingly (...)
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  33. Diachronic Realism About Successful Theories.Alberto Cordero - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 43:51-66.
    The success of a scientific theory T is not an all-or-nothing matter; nor is a theory something one can usually accept or reject in toto (i.e. one may take T as being "approximately true", or take as true just certain "parts" of it, without necessarily affirming every posit and claim specific to T as being either completely right or completely wrong). This, however, raises questions about precisely which parts of T deserve to be taken as approximately true. on the basis (...)
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  34. Realism/Anti-Realism.Michael Devitt - 2008 - In Stathis Psillos & Martin Curd (eds.), Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Science. Routledge. pp. 224--235.
  35. 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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  36. Realism and Anti-Realism.Stuart Brock & Edwin Mares - 2006 - Routledge.
    There are a bewildering variety of ways the terms "realism" and "anti-realism" have been used in philosophy and furthermore the different uses of these terms are only loosely connected with one another. Rather than give a piecemeal map of this very diverse landscape, the authors focus on what they see as the core concept: realism about a particular domain is the view that there are facts or entities distinctive of that domain, and their existence and nature is in some important (...)
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  37. Scientific Realism and the Stratagema de Divide Et Impera.Timothy D. Lyons - 2006 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (3):537-560.
    In response to historical challenges, advocates of a sophisticated variant of scientific realism emphasize that theoretical systems can be divided into numerous constituents. Setting aside any epistemic commitment to the systems themselves, they maintain that we can justifiably believe those specific constituents that are deployed in key successful predictions. Stathis Psillos articulates an explicit criterion for discerning exactly which theoretical constituents qualify. I critique Psillos's criterion in detail. I then test the more general deployment realist intuition against a set of (...)
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  38. Empirical Success or Explanatory Success: What Does Current Scientific Realism Need to Explain?Gerald Doppelt - 2005 - 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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  39. Scientific Realism: How Science Tracks the Truth.Stathis Psillos - 2004 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (2):495-497.
  40. Stathis Psillos: Causation and Explanation. [REVIEW]Ingo Brigandt - 2003 - Philosophy of Science 70 (4):844-846.
  41. No Refuge for Realism: Selective Confirmation and the History of Science.P. Kyle Stanford - 2003 - Philosophy of Science 70 (5):913-925.
    Realists have responded to challenges from the historical record of successful but ultimately rejected theories with what I call the selective confirmation strategy: arguing that only idle parts of past theories have been rejected, while truly success‐generating features have been confirmed by further inquiry. I argue first, that this strategy is unconvincing without some prospectively applicable criterion of idleness for theoretical posits, and second, that existing efforts to provide one either convict all theoretical posits of idleness (Kitcher) or stand refuted (...)
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  42. Relativism and Reality: A Contemporary Introduction; Scientific Realism: How Science Tracks Truth.Gerald Doppelt - 2002 - Philosophical Review 111 (1):142-147.
    These books make significant contributions to contemporary realism. Psillos’s book presents an excellent overview of the central components of current scientific realism, the main challenges to it, and the most promising strategies for defending it. It is a work of remarkable clarity, synthesis, and argumentative rigor. Psillos’s realism is committed to three claims: Scientific theories make irreducible assertions about unobservable entities which are literally true or false ; In the case of mature, successful theories, their success provides good reason for (...)
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  43. Relativism and Reality: A Contemporary Introduction; Scientific Realism: How Science Tracks Truth.Gerald Doppelt, Robert Kirk & Stathis Psillos - 2002 - Philosophical Review 111 (1):142.
    These books make significant contributions to contemporary realism. Psillos’s book presents an excellent overview of the central components of current scientific realism, the main challenges to it, and the most promising strategies for defending it. It is a work of remarkable clarity, synthesis, and argumentative rigor. Psillos’s realism is committed to three claims: Scientific theories make irreducible assertions about unobservable entities which are literally true or false ; In the case of mature, successful theories, their success provides good reason for (...)
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  44. Stathis Psillos, Scientific Realism: How Science Tracks Truth.P. Enfield - 2001 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 9 (1):112-115.
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  45. Real Realism: The Galilean Strategy.Philip Kitcher - 2001 - Philosophical Review 110 (2):151-197.
    This essay aims to disentangle various types of anti-realism, and to disarm the considerations that are deployed to support them. I distinguish empiricist versions of anti-realism from constructivist versions, and, within each of these, semantic arguments from epistemological arguments. The centerpiece of my defense of a modest version of realism - real realism - is the thought that there are resources within our ordinary ways of talking about and knowing about everyday objects that enable us to extend our claims to (...)
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  46. PSILLOS, S.-Scientific Realism.M. Lange - 2001 - Philosophical Books 42 (4):317-320.
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  47. El naturalismo científico de Ronald Giere y Philip Kitcher.Jesús Zamora Bonilla - 2000 - Revista de Filosofía (Madrid) 24 (1):169.
    Se discute el proyecto de la naturalización de la filosofía de la ciencia, a través de las teorías de Ronald Giere y Philip Kitcher. Ambas tienen en común la atención preferente que prestan a los procesos de decisión de los científicos individuales y la defensa de una concepción realista y racionalista de la ciencia. La comparación se lleva a cabo desde una triple perspectiva: su consideración como teorías darwinianas del desarrollo científico, su referencia a los modelos de la psicología cogni (...)
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  48. Scientific Realism, Objectivity, andTechnological Realism'.R. Queralto - 2000 - Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science 215:145-152.
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  49. Scientific Realism: How Science Tracks Truth.Stathis Psillos - 1999 - Routledge.
    Scientific realism is the optimistic view that modern science is on the right track: that the world really is the way our best scientific theories describe it. In his book, Stathis Psillos gives us a detailed and comprehensive study which restores the intuitive plausibility of scientific realism. We see that throughout the twentieth century, scientific realism has been challenged by philosophical positions from all angles: from reductive empiricism, to instrumentalism and to modern sceptical empiricism. _Scientific Realism_ explains that the history (...)
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  50. Selective Realism in the Philosophy of Physics.Keith Campbell - 1994 - The Monist 77 (1):27-46.
    In metaphysics, we seem to have in every generation an oscillation between realist positions and stances that are in one way or another idealist, instrumentalist, or constructivist. Realists in the philosophy of science are those philosophers who will not conclude, from the fact that scientific theories are undoubtedly constructs of human mentality and culture, that therefore the content of these theories is inevitably some function of the human mentality and culture that have produced them. Realists are unimpressed by response-dependence. Realism (...)
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