Scientific Realism

Edited by Howard Sankey (University of Melbourne, University of Melbourne)
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  1. Limits of Scientific Knowledge.John R. Albright - 2008 - In Paul David Numrich (ed.), The Boundaries of Knowledge in Buddhism, Christianity, and Science. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. pp. 15--184.
  2. Viii. Science: Process and History.Hanne Andersen - 2004 - In Michel Weber (ed.), After Whitehead: Rescher on Process Metaphysics. Ontos Verlag. pp. 1--197.
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  3. Can a Historian of Science Be a Scientific Realist?Theodore Arabatzis - 2001 - Philosophy of Science 68 (S3):S531-S541.
    In this paper I address some of the problems that the historical development of science poses for a realist and discuss whether a realist construal of scientific activity is conducive to historiographical practice. First, I discuss, by means of historical examples, Ian Hacking's defense of entity realism. Second, I try to show, drawing on Kuhn's recent work on incommensurability, that the realism problem is relevant to historiography and that a realist position entails a particular historiographical strategy, which faces problems. Finally, (...)
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  4. Knowledge and Reference in Empirical Science.Jody Azzouni - 2013 - Routledge.
    _Knowledge and Reference in Empirical Science_ is a fascinating study of the bounds between science and language: in what sense, and of what, does science provide knowledge? Is science an instrument only distantly related to what's real? Can the language of science be used to adequately describe the truth? In this book, Jody Azziouni investigates the technology of science - the actual forging and exploiting of causal links, between ourselves and what we endeavor to know and understand.
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  5. Knowledge and Reference in Empirical Science.Jody Azzouni - 2004 - Routledge.
    _Knowledge and Reference in Empirical Science_ is a fascinating study of the bounds between science and language: in what sense, and of what, does science provide knowledge? Is science an instrument only distantly related to what's real? Can the language of science be used to adequately describe the truth? In this book, Jodi Azziouni investigates the technology of science - the actual forging and exploiting of causal links, between ourselves and what we endeavor to know and understand.
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  6. Five Theses on Instrumental Realism.Davis Baird - 1988 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1988:165 - 173.
    I present five theses to characterize and argue for "Instrumental Realism," a realism wedded to what we do with instruments, and not what our theories say: The Independence Thesis: Questions about realism are independent of questions about meaning. The Intervening Thesis: Our ability to produce consistent effects with our instruments provides one guarantee that we are engaged with the real world. The Historical Thesis: If the descriptions of what we know and do are of something real, then it will be (...)
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  7. On Electrons and Reference.W. Balzer & G. Zoubek - 1987 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 2 (2-3):365-388.
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  8. Realism and Instrumentalism in Sixteenth Century Astronomy: A Reappraisal.Peter Barker & Bernard R. Goldstein - 1998 - Perspectives on Science 6 (3):232-258.
    : We question the claim, common since Duhem, that sixteenth century astronomy, and especially the Wittenberg interpretation of Copernicus, was instrumentalistic rather than realistic. We identify a previously unrecognized Wittenberg astronomer, Edo Hildericus (Hilderich von Varel), who presents a detailed exposition of Copernicus's cosmology that is incompatible with instrumentalism. Quotations from other sixteenth century astronomers show that knowledge of the real configuration of the heavens was unattainable practically, rather than in principle. Astronomy was limited to quia demonstrations, although demonstration propter (...)
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  9. Political Vs. Scientific Truth.Ophelia Benson - 2007 - Free Inquiry 27:35-38.
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  10. Aproximación Empirica, Aproximación a la Verdad, Proximidad a Y Proximidad Entre.Bermejo Juan Carlos Garcia - 1994 - Theoria 9 (1):151-171.
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  11. Testability and the Importance of Observational and Theoretical Terms (2011, Vol 18, P 3).L. Bielik - 2011 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 18 (4):474-474.
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  12. Science and Necessity.John Bigelow & Robert Pargetter - 1991 - Cambridge University Press.
    This book espouses a theory of scientific realism in which due weight is given to mathematics and logic. The authors argue that mathematics can be understood realistically if it is seen to be the study of universals, of properties and relations, of patterns and structures, the kinds of things which can be in several places at once. Taking this kind of scientific platonism as their point of departure, they show how the theory of universals can account for probability, laws of (...)
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  13. Evident Atoms: Visuality in Jean Perrin's Brownian Motion Research.Charlotte Bigg - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 39 (3):312-322.
    The issue of shifting scales between the microscopic and the macroscopic dimensions is a recurrent one in the history of science, and in particular the history of microscopy. But it took on new dimensions in the context of early twentieth-century microscophysics, with the progressive realisation that the physical laws governing the macroscopic world were not always adequate for describing the sub-microscopic one. The paper focuses on the researches of Jean Perrin in the 1900s, in particular his use of Brownian motion (...)
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  14. On the Inverted Use of the Terms 'Realism' and 'Idealism' Among Scientists and Historians of Science.John Blackmore - 1979 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 30 (2):125-134.
  15. Michael Polanyi and His Generation: Origins of the Social Construction of Science.David Boersema - 2012 - Annals of Science 71 (3):1-3.
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  16. On Being and Saying: Essays for Richard Cartwright.James Bogen - 1989 - Philosophical Books 30 (2):92-94.
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  17. Functional Realism.John Elof Boodin - 1934 - Philosophical Review 43 (2):147-178.
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  18. La Observación Y El Realismo.Fernando Broncano - 1985 - Theoria 1 (2):481-501.
    This paper offers an account of observation from a realist view. Observation is considered here as a process of information gathering from the environment; the performance of which will be more or less succesfull depending on the theories underlying this process.
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  19. The Structure-Nominative Reconstruction of Scientific Knowledge.M. Burgin & V. Kuznetsov - 1988 - Epistemologia 11 (2):235-254.
  20. Realismus in Duhems Naturgemässer klassifikationRealism in Duhem's Natural Classification.Alex Burri - 1996 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 27 (2):203-213.
    Realism in Duhem's Natural Classification. Pierre Duhem is an outstanding exponent of empiricism. According to the empiricist view scientific laws and theories merely describe formal relations between observable phenomena. Duhems' important notion of natural classification is intended to explain the predictive success of science. I shall argue that it can only be interpreted realistically. Besides the success of science, two further arguments are put forward in favor of realism: the fact that laws of nature are necessary, and the extension of (...)
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  21. Evandro Agazzi: Scientific Objectivity and Its Contexts. [REVIEW]Marco Buzzoni - 2016 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 47 (1):257-259.
  22. Instrumentalism: A Third Option.John Byl - unknown
    Most Christian scientists currently appear to favor a "realist" view of scientific theories. Apparent conflicts between science and Scripture are then generally resolved by modifying either our reading of Scripture or the offending scientific theories. In this paper we examine a third possibility: the adoption of an instrumentalist approach to scientific theories. This alternative enables one to make use of the practical results of scientific theories while at the same time withholding any commitment as to the validity of their epistemological (...)
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  23. Scientific Perspectivism: A Philosopher of Science's Response to the Challenge of Big Data Biology.Werner Callebaut - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 43 (1):69-80.
    Big data biology—bioinformatics, computational biology, systems biology (including ‘omics’), and synthetic biology—raises a number of issues for the philosophy of science. This article deals with several such: Is data-intensive biology a new kind of science, presumably post-reductionistic? To what extent is big data biology data-driven? Can data ‘speak for themselves?’ I discuss these issues by way of a reflection on Carl Woese’s worry that “a society that permits biology to become an engineering discipline, that allows that science to slip into (...)
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  24. Did Ptolemy Make Novel Predictions? Launching Ptolemaic Astronomy Into the Scientific Realism Debate.Christián Carman & José Díez - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 52:20-34.
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  25. Prediction in Context: On the Comparative Epistemic Merit of Predictive Success.Martin Carrier - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 45 (1):97-102.
    The considerations set out in the paper are intended to suggest that in practical contexts predictive power does not play the outstanding roles sometimes accredited to it in an epistemic framework. Rather, predictive power is part of a network of other merits and achievements. Predictive power needs to be judged differently according to the specific conditions that apply. First, predictions need to be part of an explanatory framework if they are supposed to guide actions reliably. Second, in scientific expertise, the (...)
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  26. What is Right with the Miracle Argument: Establishing a Taxonomy of Natural Kinds.Martin Carrier - 1993 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 24 (3):391-409.
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  27. Steve Clarke, Metaphysics and the Disunity of Scientific Knowledge. [REVIEW]A. Chalmers - 1999 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 77 (3):381.
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  28. An Essay for Educators: Epistemological Realism Really is Common Sense.William W. Cobern & Cathleen C. Loving - 2008 - Science and Education 17 (4):425-447.
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  29. On Scientific Realism and Naturalism.Alberto Cordero - 2015 - Journal of Philosophical Research 40 (9999):31-43.
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  30. Realism and Underdetermination: Some Clues From the Practices-Up.Alberto Cordero - 2001 - Philosophy of Science 68 (S3):S301-S312.
    Recent attempts to turn Standard Quantum Theory into a coherent representational system have improved markedly over previous offerings. Important questions about the nature of material systems remain open, however, as current theorizing effectively resolves into a multiplicity of incompatible statements about the nature of physical systems. Specifically, the most cogent proposals to date land in effective empirical equivalence, reviving old anti-realist fears about quantum physics. In this paper such fears are discussed and found unsound. It is argued that nothing of (...)
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  31. Let's Get Real: Developing Realist Approaches Within the Philosophy of Social Science.Charles Crothers - 1999 - South African Journal of Philosophy 18 (2):211-222.
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  32. Boskovic's Unobservables.Zvonimir Čuljak - 1993 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 7 (3):211 – 224.
    Boskovic treated unobservables in two different ways. During his earlier period (1741-48) the difference between observables and unobservables was a significant element of his specific semantic instrumentalism. The sentences of unobservables (such as absolute space, time and motions) were treated only as convenient tools conceived to provide for the empirical success of a theory. Later, especially in his Theory of Natural Philosophy (1763), Boskovic relativized this distinction by positing absolute properties (continuity and impenetrability), which are common to both observables and (...)
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  33. Realism/Anti-Realism.Michael Devitt - 2008 - In Stathis Psillos & Martin Curd (eds.), Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Science. Routledge. pp. 224--235.
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  34. Underdetermination and Realism.Michael Devitt - 2002 - Philosophical Issues 12 (1):26-50.
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  35. Normativity, the Base-Rate Fallacy, and Some Problems for Retail Realism.Paul Dicken - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (4):563-570.
    Recent literature in the scientific realism debate has been concerned with a particular species of statistical fallacy concerning base-rates, and the worry that no matter how predictively successful our contemporary scientific theories may be, this will tell us absolutely nothing about the likelihood of their truth if our overall sample space contains enough empirically adequate theories that are nevertheless false. In response, both realists and anti-realists have switched their focus from general arguments concerning the reliability and historical track-records of our (...)
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  36. Empiricism Vs. Realism: High Points in the Debate During the Past 150 Years.Craig Dilworth - 1990 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 21 (3):431-462.
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  37. On the Ether.Albert Einstein - 1991 - In Simon Saunders & Harvey R. Brown (eds.), The Philosophy of Vacuum. Oxford University Press.
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  38. Don Ross, James Ladyman, and Harold Kincaid : Scientific Metaphysics.Cord Friebe - 2014 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 45 (2):387-391.
    Scientific Metaphysics is a collection of essays in which prominent philosophers of science explore how metaphysics looks like that is judged by scientific standards. Common to all chapters is the requirement that scientific results and methods should be applied to metaphysical puzzle solving and, hence, the skepticism about philosophical reasoning that is based on the analysis of common-sense concepts and appeals to intuitions and a priori knowledge. It is, however, controversial what exactly naturalistic metaphysics might be, since at present there (...)
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  39. Retrieving the Point of the Realism-Instrumentalism Debate: Mach Vs. Planck on Science Education Policy.Steve Fuller - 1994 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1994:200 - 208.
    I aim to recover some of the original cultural significance that was attached to the realism-instrumentalism debate (RID) when it was hotly contested by professional scientists in the decades before World War I. Focusing on the highly visible Mach-Planck exchange of 1908-13, I show that arguments about the nature of scientific progress were used to justify alternative visions of science education. Among the many issues revealed in the exchange are realist worries that instrumentalism would subserve science entirely to human interests, (...)
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  40. Realism and Instrumentalism in 19th-Century Atomism.Michael R. Gardner - 1979 - Philosophy of Science 46 (1):1-34.
    Sometimes a theory is interpreted realistically--i.e., as literally true--whereas sometimes a theory is interpreted instrumentalistically--i.e., as merely a convenient device for summarizing, systematizing, deducing, etc., a given body of observable facts. This paper is part of a program aimed at determining the basis on which scientists decide on which of these interpretations to accept a theory. I proceed by examining one case: the nineteenth-century debates about the existence of atoms. I argue that there was a gradual transition from an instrumentalist (...)
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  41. Scientific Representation and Realism.Michel Ghins - 2012 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 15 (3).
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  42. Unification as a Measure of Natural Classification.Victor Gijsbers - 2014 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 29 (1):71-82.
    Recent interest in the idea that there can be scientific understanding without explanation lends new relevance to Duhem's notion of natural classification. According to Duhem, a classification that is natural teaches us something about nature without being explanatory. However, his conception of naturalnessleaves much to be desired from the point of view of contemporary discussions. In this paper, I argue that we can measure the naturalness of classification by using an amended version of the notion of unification as defined by (...)
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  43. Psychological, Social, and Epistemic Factors in the Theory of Science.Alvin I. Goldman - 1994 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1994:277 - 286.
    This article blends psychological and social factors in the explanation of science, and defends the compatibility of a psychosocial picture with an epistemic picture. It examines three variants of the 'political' approach to interpersonal persuasion advocated by Latour and others. In each case an 'epistemic' or mixed account is more promising and empirically better supported. Psychological research on motivated reasoning shows the epistemic limits of interest-driven belief. Against social constructivism, the paper defends the viability of a truth-based standard, and reports (...)
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  44. A Logic for Theories in Flux: A Model-Theoretic Approach.M. T. Hannan & L. Polos - 2004 - Logique Et Analyse 47:85-121.
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  45. Strong Scientific Theories.John Henry Harris - 1978 - Philosophy of Science 45 (2):182-205.
    Question: What is a (or the) scientific theory V based on a set B of syntactical L-formulas, interpreted according to the intended interpretations of the language L? What probably corresponds to the traditional candidate for V is found to be inadequate for use in deductively explaining experimental facts of a certain form. A second candidate for V, called a strong scientific theory (SST), does not suffer such an inadequacy because it is existentially strong, i.e., it has considerable existential import. It (...)
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  46. Realist Principles.Geoffrey Hellman - 1983 - Philosophy of Science 50 (2):227-249.
    We list, with discussions, various principles of scientific realism, in order to exhibit their diversity and to emphasize certain serious problems of formulation. Ontological and epistemological principles are distinguished. Within the former category, some framed in semantic terms (truth, reference) serve their purpose vis-a-vis instrumentalism (Part 1). They fail, however, to distinguish the realist from a wide variety of (constructional) empiricists. Part 2 seeks purely ontological formulations, so devised that the empiricist cannot reconstruct them from within. The main task here (...)
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  47. Are Realism and Instrumentalism Methodologically Indifferent?Robin Findlay Hendry - 2001 - Philosophy of Science 68 (S3):S25-S37.
    Arthur Fine and André Kukla have argued that realism and instrumentalism are indifferent with respect to scientific practice. I argue that this claim is ambiguous. One interpretation is that for any practice, the fact that that practice yields predictively successful theories is evidentially indifferent between scientific realism and instrumentalism. On the second construal, the claim is that for any practice, adoption of that practice by a scientist is indifferent between their being a realist or instrumentalist. I argue that there are (...)
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  48. Identity, Structure, and Causal Representation in Scientific Models.Kevin D. Hoover - unknown
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  49. 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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  50. Contemporary Philosophy (La Philosophie Contemporaine). Volume II, Philosophy of Science.R. H. K. - 1970 - Review of Metaphysics 23 (3):571-572.
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