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Subcategories:History/traditions: Truth and Verisimilitude

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  1. The Relativity of Theory by Moti Mizrahi: Pandemics and Pathogens: What’s at Stake in the Debate Over Scientific Realism? [REVIEW]Margaret Greta Turnbull - forthcoming - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A.
    I provide a critical review of Moti Mizrahi's The Relativity of Theory, expounding on the book's strengths and then providing an extended argument that Mizrahi mischaracterizes the epistemic attitude of concern to antirealism about science as well as the practical stakes involved in adopting the antirealist position.
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  2. VIII. Terminologization of a Metaphor: From ‘Verisimilitude’ to ‘Probability’.Hans Blumenberg - 2010 - In Paradigms for a Metaphorology. Cornell University Press. pp. 81-98.
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Scientific Truth
  1. A Constructive Critique of Mario Bunge’s Theory of Truth.David Martín Solano - 2021 - Mεtascience 2:online.
    Truth is the degree of accuracy when representing reality. We postulate three cognitive stages: the psychon, produced by perception; the construct, produced by intellection; and the speech act, produced by communication. Truth lies in the second; only constructs are alethic. Truth is a quality which takes place in degrees. Certainty is the unreachable perfect tip of this gradation, so it is an ideal concept. A thesis is deemed true if its alethical degree is acceptably efficacious, otherwise the thesis is deemed (...)
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  2. The Truth About Better Understanding?Lewis Ross - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-24.
    The notion of understanding occupies an increasingly prominent place in contemporary epistemology, philosophy of science, and moral theory. A central and ongoing debate about the nature of understanding is how it relates to the truth. In a series of influential contributions, Catherine Elgin has used a variety of familiar motivations for antirealism in philosophy of science to defend a non- factive theory of understanding. Key to her position are: (i) the fact that false theories can contribute to the upwards trajectory (...)
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  3. La relatividad conceptual y el problema de la verdad.Antonio Diéguez - 2020 - Scientia in Verba Magazine 6 (1):105-120.
    Algunos defensores del realismo científico, particularmente Ilkka Niiniluoto y Philip Kitcher, han intentado moderar las tesis ontológicas más fuertes del realismo buscando la integración de la teoría de la verdad como correspondencia con alguna versión matizada del relativismo conceptual propugnado por Putnam, según el cual el mundo carece de una estructura propia y, por tanto, la ontología depende de nuestros esquemas conceptuales. No es claro, sin embargo, que ambas cosas se puedan armonizar fácilmente. Si nuestro conocimiento del mundo está mediado (...)
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  4. Is Truth the Gold Standard of Inquiry? A Comment on Elgin’s Argument Against Veritism.Moti Mizrahi - forthcoming - Foundations of Science:1-6.
    In True Enough, Catherine Elgin (2017) argues against veritism, which is the view that truth is the paramount epistemic objective. Elgin’s argument against veritism proceeds from considering the role that models, idealizations, and thought experiments play in science to the conclusion that veritism is unacceptable. In this commentary, I argue that Elgin’s argument fails as an argument against veritism. I sketch a refutation by logical analogy of Elgin’s argument. Just as one can aim at gold medals and still find approximations (...)
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  5. Vérité partielle et réalisme scientifique: une approche bungéenne.Jean-Pierre Marquis - 2020 - Mεtascience 1:293-314.
    Le réalisme scientifique occupe une place centrale dans le système philosophique de Mario Bunge. Au cœur de cette thèse, on trouve l’affirmation selon laquelle nous pouvons connaître le monde partiellement. Il s’ensuit que les théories scientifiques ne sont pas totalement vraies ou totalement fausses, mais plutôt partiellement vraies et partiellement fausses. Ces énoncés sur la connaissance scientifique, à première vue plausible pour quiconque est familier avec la pratique scientifique, demandent néanmoins à être clarifiés, précisés et, ultimement, à être inclus dans (...)
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  6. Semantic Realism in the Semantic Conception of Theories.Quentin Ruyant - forthcoming - Synthese:1-19.
    Semantic realism can be characterised as the idea that scientific theories are truth-bearers, and that they are true or false in virtue of the world. This notion is often assumed, but rarely discussed in the literature. I examine how it fares in the context of the semantic view of theories and in connection with the literature on scientific representation. Making sense of semantic realism requires specifying the conditions of application of theoretical models, even for models that are not actually used, (...)
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  7. Why Adding Truths Is Not Enough: A Reply to Mizrahi on Progress as Approximation to the Truth.Gustavo Cevolani & Luca Tambolo - 2019 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 32 (2):129-135.
    ABSTRACTIn a recent paper in this journal, entitled ‘Scientific Progress: Why Getting Closer to Truth is Not Enough’, Moti Mizrahi argues that the view of progress as approximation to the truth or increasing verisimilitude is plainly false. The key premise of his argument is that on such a view of progress, in order to get closer to the truth one only needs to arbitrarily add a true disjunct to a hypothesis or theory. Since quite clearly scientific progress is not a (...)
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  8. What Do We Mean by “True” in Scientific Realism?Robert W. P. Luk - 2020 - Foundations of Science 25 (3):845-856.
    A crucial aspect of scientific realism is what do we mean by true. In Luk’s theory and model of scientific study, a theory can be believed to be “true” but a model is only accurate. Therefore, what do we mean by a “true” theory in scientific realism? Here, we focus on exploring the notion of truth by some thought experiments and we come up with the idea that truth is related to what we mean by the same. This has repercussion (...)
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  9. Veritism Refuted? Understanding, Idealizations, and the Facts.Tamer Nawar - forthcoming - Synthese:1-19.
    Elgin offers an influential and far-reaching challenge to veritism. She takes scientific understanding to be non-factive and maintains that there are epistemically useful falsehoods that figure ineliminably in scientific understanding and whose falsehood is no epistemic defect. Veritism, she argues, cannot account for these facts. This paper argues that while Elgin rightly draws attention to several features of epistemic practices frequently neglected by veritists, veritists have numerous plausible ways of responding to her arguments. In particular, it is not clear that (...)
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  10. Psychopathology and Truth: A Defense of Realism.Markus I. Eronen - 2019 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 44 (4):507-520.
    Recently Kenneth Kendler and Peter Zachar have raised doubts about the correspondence theory of truth and scientific realism in psychopathology. They argue that coherentist or pragmatist approaches to truth are better suited for understanding the reality of psychiatric disorders. In this article, I show that rejecting realism based on the correspondence theory is deeply problematic: It makes psychopathology categorically different from other sciences, and results in an implausible view of scientific discovery and progress. As an alternative, I suggest a robustness-based (...)
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  11. Scientific Progress: Why Getting Closer to Truth Is Not Enough.Moti Mizrahi - 2017 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 31 (4):415-419.
    ABSTRACTThis discussion note aims to contribute to the ongoing debate over the nature of scientific progress. I argue against the semantic view of scientific progress, according to which scientific progress consists in approximation to truth or increasing verisimilitude. If the semantic view of scientific progress were correct, then scientists would make scientific progress simply by arbitrarily adding true disjuncts to their hypotheses or theories. Given that it is not the case that scientists could make scientific progress simply by arbitrarily adding (...)
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  12. Realists Waiting for Godot? The Verisimilitudinarian and the Cumulative Approach to Scientific Progress.Andrea Roselli - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (5):1071-1084.
    After a brief presentation of the Verisimilitudinarian approach to scientific progress, I argue that the notion of estimated verisimilitude is too weak for the purposes of scientific realism. Despite the realist-correspondist intuition that inspires the model—the idea that our theories get closer and closer to ‘the real way the world is’—, Bayesian estimations of truthlikeness are not objective enough to sustain a realist position. The main argument of the paper is that, since estimated verisimilitude is not connected to actual verisimilitude, (...)
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  13. Scientific Styles, Plain Truth, and Truthfulness.Robert Kowalenko - 2018 - South African Journal of Philosophy 37 (3):361-378.
    Ian Hacking defines a “style of scientific thinking” loosely as a “way to find things out about the world” characterised by five hallmark features of a number of scientific template styles. Most prominently, these are autonomy and “self-authentication”: a scientific style of thinking, according to Hacking, is not good because it helps us find out the truth in some domain, it itself defines the criteria for truth-telling in its domain. I argue that Renaissance medicine, Mediaeval “demonology”, and magical thinking pass (...)
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  14. Approximative Truth of Fact-Statements, Laws, and Theories.Władysław Krajewski - 1978 - Synthese 38 (2):275-279.
    The paper is a sketch of a conception of approximative truth (or verisimilitude). The concepts of relative error, and degree of inadequacy are introduced. By means of them the concept of truth-content of quantitative facts-statements, laws and theories is defined. Laws and theories accepted in science have a high truth-content, i.e. they are approximately true.
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  15. Scientific Realism with Correspondence Truth: A Reply to Asay (2018).Brian D. Haig & Denny Borsboom - 2018 - Theory and Psychology 28 (3):398-404.
    Asay (2018) criticizes our contention that psychologists do best to adhere to a substantive theory of correspondence truth. He argues that deflationary theory can serve the same purposes as correspondence theory. In the present article we argue that (a) scientific realism, broadly construed, requires a version of correspondence theory and (b) contrary to Asay’s suggestion, correspondence theory does have important additional resources over deflationary accounts in its ability to support generalizations over classes of true sentences.
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  16. The Abundant World: Paul Feyerabend's Metaphysics of Science.Matthew J. Brown - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 57:142-154.
    The goal of this paper is to provide an interpretation of Feyerabend's metaphysics of science as found in late works like Conquest of Abundance and Tyranny of Science. Feyerabend's late metaphysics consists of an attempt to criticize and provide a systematic alternative to traditional scientific realism, a package of views he sometimes referred to as “scientific materialism.” Scientific materialism is objectionable not only on metaphysical grounds, nor because it provides a poor ground for understanding science, but because it implies problematic (...)
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  17. Truthlikeness.Ilkka Niiniluoto - 1987 - Dordrecht: Reidel.
    The modern discussion on the concept of truthlikeness was started in 1960. In his influential Word and Object, W. V. O. Quine argued that Charles Peirce's definition of truth as the limit of inquiry is faulty for the reason that the notion 'nearer than' is only "defined for numbers and not for theories". In his contribution to the 1960 International Congress for Logic, Methodology, and Philosophy of Science at Stan­ ford, Karl Popper defended the opposite view by defining a compara­tive (...)
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  18. The Role of Truth in Psychological Science.Jamin Asay - 2018 - Theory and Psychology 28 (3):382-397.
    In a recent paper, Haig and Borsboom explore the relevance of the theory of truth for psychological science. Although they conclude that correspondence theories of truth are best suited to offer the resources for making sense of scientific practice, they leave open the possibility that other theories might accomplish those same ends. I argue that deflationary theories of truth, which deny that there is any substantive property that unifies the class of truths, makes equally good sense of scientific practice as (...)
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  19. Aesthetic Values in Science.Milena Ivanova - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (10):e12433.
    Scientists often use aesthetic values in the evaluation and choice of theories. Aesthetic values are not only regarded as leading to practically more useful theories but are often taken to stand in a special epistemic relation to the truth of a theory such that the aesthetic merit of a theory is evidence of its truth. This paper explores what aesthetic considerations influence scientists' reasoning, how such aesthetic values relate to the utility of a scientific theory, and how one can justify (...)
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  20. In Defense of the Notion of Truthlikeness.Ingvar Johansson - 2017 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 48 (1):59-69.
    The notion of truthlikeness, coined by Karl Popper, has very much fallen into oblivion, but the paper defends it. It can be regarded in two different ways. Either as a notion that is meaningful only if some formal measure of degree of truthlikeness can be constructed; or as a merely non-formal comparative notion that nonetheless has important functions to fulfill. It is the latter notion that is defended; it is claimed that such a notion is needed for both a reasonable (...)
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  21. Philosophers Against “Truth”: The Cases of Harreacute and Laudan.A. Paya - 1995 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 9 (3):255-284.
    The criticisms levelled at the notion of truth by an anti-realist and an entity-realist are critically examined. The upshot of the discussion will be that whilst neither of the two anti-truth philosophers have succeeded in establishing their cases against truth, for entity-realists to reject the notion of truth is to throw out the baby with the bath water: entity-realism without the notion of correspondence truth will degenerate into anti-realism.
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  22. Scientific Realism and the 'Pessimistic Induction'.Stathis Psillos - 1996 - Philosophy of Science 63 (5):S306-S314.
    Over the last two decades, the debate over scientific realism has been dominated by two arguments that pull in contrary directions: the 'no miracle' argument and the 'pessimistic induction'. The latter suggests that the historical record destroys the realist's belief in an explanatory connection between truthlikeness and genuine empirical success. This paper analyzes the structure of the 'pessimistic induction', presents a move--the divide et impera move--that neutralizes it, and motivates a substantive yet realistic version of scientific realism. This move is (...)
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  23. It's All Necessarily So: William Whewell on Scientific Truth.Laura J. Snyder - 1994 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 25 (5):785-807.
  24. Science and Partial Truth. [REVIEW]Joseph E. Earley - 2005 - Review of Metaphysics 59 (2):413-415.
  25. Collected Papers of Charles Sanders Peirce.Charles S. Peirce - 1931 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
    PRINCIPLES OF PHILOSOPHY" CHAPTER 1 LESSONS FROM THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY §1. NOMINALISM* 15. Very early in my studies of logic, before I had really been ...
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  26. La nature de la vérité scientifique. [REVIEW]Agustín Arrieta - 1987 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 2 (2-3):609-612.
  27. Connaissance Sensible Et Approximation.Jules Vuillemin - 1991 - Annals of the Japan Association for Philosophy of Science 8 (1):1-16.
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  28. Empirical Progress and Nomic Truth Approximation Revisited.Theo A. F. Kuipers - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 46:64-72.
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  29. Empirical Progress and Truth Approximation by the ‘Hypothetico-Probabilistic Method’.Theo A. F. Kuipers - 2009 - Erkenntnis 70 (3):313-330.
    Three related intuitions are explicated in this paper. The first is the idea that there must be some kind of probabilistic version of the HD-method, a 'Hypothetico-Probabilistic method', in terms of something like probabilistic consequences, instead of deductive consequences. According to the second intuition, the comparative application of this method should also be functional for some probabilistic kind of empirical progress, and according to the third intuition this should be functional for something like probabilistic truth approximation. In all three cases, (...)
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  30. Beauty, A Road To The Truth.Theo A. F. Kuipers - 2002 - Synthese 131 (3):291-328.
    In this article I give a naturalistic-cum-formal analysis of the relation between beauty, empirical success, and truth. The analysis is based on the one hand on a hypothetical variant of the so-called 'mere-exposure effect' which has been more or less established in experimental psychology regarding exposure-affect relationships in general and aesthetic appreciation in particular. On the other hand it is based on the formal theory of truthlikeness and truth approximation as presented in my "From Instrumentalism to Constructive Realism". The analysis (...)
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  31. Models, Postulates, and Generalized Nomic Truth Approximation.Theo Kuipers - 2016 - Synthese 193 (10).
    The qualitative theory of nomic truth approximation, presented in Kuipers in his, in which ‘the truth’ concerns the distinction between nomic, e.g. physical, possibilities and impossibilities, rests on a very restrictive assumption, viz. that theories always claim to characterize the boundary between nomic possibilities and impossibilities. Fully recognizing two different functions of theories, viz. excluding and representing, this paper drops this assumption by conceiving theories in development as tuples of postulates and models, where the postulates claim to exclude nomic impossibilities (...)
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  32. Deflationary Representation, Inference, and Practice.Mauricio Suárez - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 49:36-47.
    This paper defends the deflationary character of two recent views regarding scientific representation, namely RIG Hughes’ DDI model and the inferential conception. It is first argued that these views’ deflationism is akin to the homonymous position in discussions regarding the nature of truth. There, we are invited to consider the platitudes that the predicate “true” obeys at the level of practice, disregarding any deeper, or more substantive, account of its nature. More generally, for any concept X, a deflationary approach is (...)
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  33. From Instrumentalism to Constructive Realism: On Some Relations Between Confirmation, Empirical Progress, and Truth Approximation.T. A. F. Kuipers - 2000 - Springer.
  34. The Structure of Theoretical Progress.Geoffrey Alexander Joseph Gorham - 1994 - Dissertation, University of Minnesota
    I develop a new theory of theoretical progress or 'truthlikeness'. Unlike previous theories, my approach focuses on the sets of models of scientific theories, rather than their linguistic formulations. Such an approach, I argue, avoids several long-standing problems in the philosophy of theoretical progress. I find in Chapter One that the most prominent schools of twentieth century philosophy of science have all failed to account for theoretical progress. I further argue that such an account is an essential element of the (...)
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  35. The Significance of the Concept of Truth for the Critical Appraisal of Scientific Theories.G. Hempel - 1990 - Nuova Civiltà Delle Macchine 8 (4):109-113.
  36. Beyond Truthlikeness: Toward a Linguistically Invariant Theory of Scientific Progress.Eric Christian Barnes - 1990 - Dissertation, Indiana University
    In the 1970's a problem arose for the viability of Popper's truthlikeness project. The problem, in short, was that all plausible measures of the truthlikeness of scientific theories were language dependent. This dissertation is primarily concerned to provide a substitute notion that can do the work 'verisimilitude' was intended to do without suffering from linguistic relativity. It is argued that the notion of 'knowledge', or 'knowledgelikeness', can suffice in this regard. ;Chapter One seeks to convince the reader that the notion (...)
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  37. Conoscenza E Realtà in K.R. Popper.Marco Buzzoni - 1982 - Milan: F. Angeli Editore.
    Within Popper's philosophy of science there is a tension between two different and opposite tendencies of thought: one consists in a decisive critique of the neopositivistic philosophy of science, the other preserves instead some assumptions of gnoseology and ontology of Wittgenstein's Tractatus. The attempt to resolve the tension between these two tendencies of thought constitutes the spring that has guided the internal development of Popperian epistemology, from the falsificationism of Die beiden Grundprobleme der Erkenntnistheorie and Logik der Forschung to the (...)
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  38. Simplicity as Evidence of Truth.Richard Swinburne - 1997 - Milwaukee: Marquette University Press.
  39. Truthlikeness with a Human Face: On Some Connections Between the Theory of Verisimilitude and the Sociology of Scientific Knowledge.Jesús Zamora Bonilla - 2005 - Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 83:361-369.
    Verisimilitude theorists assume that science attempts to provide hypotheses with an increasing degree of closeness to the full truth; on the other hand, radical sociologists of science assert that flesh and bone scientists struggle to attain much more mundane goals . This paper argues that both points of view can be made compatible, for rational individuals only would be interested in engaging in a strong competition if they knew in advance the rules under which their outcomes are to be assessed, (...)
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  40. Empirical Progress and Nomic Truth Approximation Revisited.Theo Kuipers - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 46:64-72.
    In my From Instrumentalism to Constructive Realism I have shown how an instrumentalist account of empirical progress can be related to nomic truth approximation. However, it was assumed that a strong notion of nomic theories was needed for that analysis. In this paper it is shown, in terms of truth and falsity content, that the analysis already applies when, in line with scientific common sense, nomic theories are merely assumed to exclude certain conceptual possibilities as nomic possibilities.
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  41. Representation and Truthlikeness.Ilkka Niiniluoto - 2014 - Foundations of Science 19 (4):375-379.
    Woosuk Park’s paper “Misrepresentation in Context” is a useful plea for a theory of representation with promising interaction between cognitive science, philosophy of science, and aesthetics. In this paper, I argue that such a unified account is provided by Charles S. Peirce’s semiotics. This theory puts Park’s criticism of Nelson Goodman and Jerry Fodor in context. Some of Park’s pertinent remarks on the problem of misrepresentation can be illuminated by the account of truthlikeness and idealization developed by philosophers of science.
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  42. Truth and Truthlikeness.Graham Oddie - forthcoming - In Glanzberg M. (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Truth. Oxford University Press.
  43. Likeness to Truth.Graham Oddie - 1986 - Reidel.
    What does it take for one proposition to be closer to the truth than another. In this, the first published monograph on the topic, Oddie develops a comprehensive theory that takes the likeness in truthlikeness seriously.
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  44. On a Dogma Concerning Realism and Incommensurability.Graham Oddie - 1988 - In R. Nola (ed.), Relativism and Realism in Science. Reidel. pp. 169-293.
  45. Knowledge, Truth and Plausibility.Carlo Cellucci - 2014 - Axiomathes 24 (4):517-532.
    From antiquity several philosophers have claimed that the goal of natural science is truth. In particular, this is a basic tenet of contemporary scientific realism. However, all concepts of truth that have been put forward are inadequate to modern science because they do not provide a criterion of truth. This means that we will generally be unable to recognize a scientific truth when we reach it. As an alternative, this paper argues that the goal of natural science is plausibility and (...)
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  46. Approximative Truth and Depth as the Main Aims of Science.W. Krajewski - 1994 - Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science 160:119-119.
  47. Realism and Truth Approximation in Economic Theory.J. C. Garcia-Bermejo Ochoa - 1997 - Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 61:167-204.
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  48. On Truth and Reference in Postmodern Science.Emma Ruttkamp - 2003 - South African Journal of Philosophy 22 (3):220-235.
    If the defenders of typical postmodern accounts of science (and their less extreme social-constructivist partners) are at one end of the scale in current philosophy of science, who shall we place at the other end? Old-style metaphysical realists? Neo-neo-positivists? ... Are the choices concerning realist issues as simple as being centered around either, on the one hand, whether it is the way reality is “constructed” in accordance with some contingent language game that determines scientific “truth”; or, on the other hand, (...)
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