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  1. Scientific Realism and Further Underdetermination Challenges.Mario Alai - 2021 - Axiomathes 31 (6):779-789.
    In an earlier article on this journal I argued that the problem of empirical underdetermination can for the largest part be solved by theoretical virtues, and for the remaining part it can be tolerated. Here I confront two further challenges to scientific realism based on underdetermination. First, there are four classes of theories which may seem to be underdetermined even by theoretical virtues. Concerning them I argue that theories produced by trivial permutations and “equivalent descriptions” are compatible with the truth (...)
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  • The Anti-Metaphysical Argument Against Scientific Realism: A Minimally Metaphysical Response.Raphaël Künstler - 2021 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 52 (4):577-595.
    The anti-metaphysical argument against scientific realism is the following: Knowledge of unobservable entities implies metaphysical knowledge; There is no metaphysical knowledge. Therefore, there is no knowledge of unobservable entities. This argument has strangely received little attention in the profuse literature on scientific realism. This paper claims that the AMA is logically more fundamental than both the pessimistic meta-induction and the underdetermination argument. The second and main claim of this paper is that the instrumentalists’ use of AMA is incoherent. The gist (...)
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  • Mind-Dependent Kinds.Khalidi Muhammad Ali - 2016 - Journal of Social Ontology 2 (2):223-246.
    Many philosophers take mind-independence to be criterial for realism about kinds. This is problematic when it comes to psychological and social kinds, which are unavoidably mind-dependent. But reflection on the case of artificial or synthetic kinds shows that the criterion of mind-independence needs to be qualified in certain ways. However, I argue that none of the usual variants on the criterion of mind-dependence is capable of distinguishing real or natural kinds from non-real kinds. Although there is a way of modifying (...)
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  • Should Scientific Realists Embrace Theoretical Conservatism?Finnur Dellsén - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A:30-38.
    A prominent type of scientific realism holds that some important parts of our best current scientific theories are at least approximately true. According to such realists, radically distinct alternatives to these theories or theory-parts are unlikely to be approximately true. Thus one might be tempted to argue, as the prominent anti-realist Kyle Stanford recently did, that realists of this kind have little or no reason to encourage scientists to attempt to identify and develop theoretical alternatives that are radically distinct from (...)
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  • 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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  • Idealization and Abstraction in Scientific Modeling.Demetris Portides - 2018 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 24):5873-5895.
    I argue that we cannot adequately characterize idealization and abstraction and the distinction between the two on the grounds that they have distinct semantic properties. By doing so, on the one hand, we focus on the conceptual products of the two processes in making the distinction and we overlook the importance of the nature of the thought processes that underlie model-simplifying assumptions. On the other hand, we implicitly rely on a sense of abstraction as subtraction, which is unsuitable for explicating (...)
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  • Externalismo semántico y subdeterminación empírica. Respuesta a un desafío al realismo científico.Marc Jiménez Rolland - 2017 - Dissertation, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana
    I offer an explicit account of the underdetermination thesis as well as of the many challenges it poses to scientific realism; a way to answer to these challenges is explored and outlined, by shifting attention to the content of theories. I argue that, even if we have solid grounds (as I contend we do) to support that some varieties of the underdetermination thesis are true, scientific realism can still offer an adequate picture of the aims and achievements of science.
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  • Grounding Theories of Powers.Matthew Tugby - 2021 - Synthese 198 (12):11187-11216.
    Necessitarianism, as we shall use the term, is the view that natural properties and causal powers are necessarily connected in some way. In recent decades the most popular forms of necessitarianism have been the anti-Humean powers-based theories of properties, such as dispositional essentialism and the identity theory. These versions of necessitarianism have come under fire in recent years and I believe it is time for necessitarians to develop a new approach. In this paper I identify unexplored ways of positing metaphysically (...)
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  • Dispositional Essentialism and Ontic Structural Realism - a Hybrid View.Julie Godfrey - 2020 - Dissertation, Durham University
    Dispositional Essentialism and Ontic Structural Realism aim to account for modality. Dispositional Essentialism takes properties to account for laws. In particular, it takes determinate properties to account for laws of nature, which are determinable. Ontic Structural Realism does the reverse. According to Steven French, Ontic Structural Realism takes laws and symmetries to be part of the fundamental structure of the world. Determinate properties are “dependent” on laws. The core difference between Dispositional Essentialism and Ontic Structural Realism’s accounts of modality is (...)
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  • Realism, Perspectivism, and Disagreement in Science.Michela Massimi - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 25):6115-6141.
    This paper attends to two main tasks. First, I introduce the notion of perspectival disagreement in science. Second, I relate perspectival disagreement in science to the broader issue of realism about science: how to maintain realist ontological commitments in the face of perspectival disagreement among scientists? I argue that often enough perspectival disagreement is not at the level of the scientific knowledge claims but rather of the methodological and justificatory principles. I introduce and clarify the notion of ‘agreeing-whilst-perspectivally-disagreeing’ with an (...)
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  • Realism, Perspectivism, and Disagreement in Science.Michela Massimi - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 25):6115-6141.
    This paper attends to two main tasks. First, I introduce the notion of perspectival disagreement in science. Second, I relate perspectival disagreement in science to the broader issue of realism about science: how to maintain realist ontological commitments in the face of perspectival disagreement among scientists? I argue that often enough perspectival disagreement is not at the level of the scientific knowledge claims but rather of the methodological and justificatory principles. I introduce and clarify the notion of ‘agreeing-whilst-perspectivally-disagreeing’ with an (...)
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  • Das No-Miracle Argument als ein Schluss auf die beste Erklärung.Johannes Heinle - manuscript
    Es wird der Frage nachgegangen, ob das No-Miracle Argument als ein Schluss auf die beste Erklärung ein gutes Argument ist. Diese Frage ist auch deshalb interessant, weil, wenn sie bejaht werden kann, es rational ist, anzunehmen, dass reife wissenschaftliche Theorien uns einen epistemischen Zugang zu einer Welt jenseits des direkt Beobachtbaren erschließen.
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  • Reconsidering the Dispositional Essentialist Canon.Samuel Kimpton-Nye - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (10):3421-3441.
    Dispositional Essentialism is a unified anti-Humean account of the metaphysics of low-level physical properties and laws of nature. In this paper, I articulate the view that I label Canonical Dispositional Essentialism, which comprises a structuralist metaphysics of properties and an account of laws as relations in the property structure. I then present an alternative anti-Humean account of properties and laws. This account rejects CDE’s structuralist metaphysics of properties in favour of a view of properties as qualitative grounds of dispositions and (...)
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  • Structural Correspondence Between Organizational Theories.Herman Aksom & Svitlana Firsova - 2021 - Philosophy of Management 20 (3):307-336.
    Organizational research constitutes a differentiated, complex and fragmented field with multiple contradicting and incommensurable theories that make fundamentally different claims about the social and organizational reality. In contrast to natural sciences, the progress in this field can’t be attributed to the principle of truthlikeness where theories compete against each other and only best theories survive and prove they are closer to the truth and thus demonstrate scientific knowledge accumulation. We defend the structural realist view on the nature of organizational theories (...)
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  • Realism in the Desert and in the Jungle: Reply to French, Ghins, and Psillos. [REVIEW]Anjan Chakravartty - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (1):39 - 58.
    A Metaphysics for Scientific Realism: Knowing the Unobservable has two primary aims. The first is to extract the most promising refinements of the idea of scientific realism to emerge in recent decades and assemble them into a maximally defensible realist position, semirealism. The second is to demonstrate that, contra antirealist scepticism to the contrary, key concepts typically invoked by realists in expounding their views can be given a coherent and unified explication. These concepts include notions of causation, laws of nature, (...)
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  • 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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  • The Prospective Stance in Realism.Ioannis Votsis - 2011 - Philosophy of Science 78 (5):1223-1234.
    Scientific realists endeavour to secure inferences from empirical success to approximate truth by arguing that despite the demise of empirically successful theories the parts of those theories responsible for their success do in fact survive theory change. If, as some anti-realists have recently suggested, those parts of theories that are responsible for their success are only identifiable in retrospect, namely as those that have survived, then the realist approach is trivialised for now success and survival are guaranteed to coincide. The (...)
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  • Historical Magic in Old Quantum Theory?Peter Vickers - 2012 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (1):1-19.
    Two successes of old quantum theory are particularly notable: Bohr’s prediction of the spectral lines of ionised helium, and Sommerfeld’s prediction of the fine-structure of the hydrogen spectral lines. Many scientific realists would like to be able to explain these successes in terms of the truth or approximate truth of the assumptions which fuelled the relevant derivations. In this paper I argue that this will be difficult for the ionised helium success, and is almost certainly impossible for the fine-structure success. (...)
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  • Truth and Representation in Science: Two Inspirations From Art.Anjan Chakravartty - 2010 - Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science:33-50.
    Realists regarding scientific knowledge – those who think that our best scientific representations truly describe both observable and unobservable aspects of the natural world – have special need of a notion of approximate truth. Since theories and models are rarely considered true simpliciter, the realist requires some means of making sense of the claim that they may be false and yet close to the truth, and increasingly so over time. In this paper, I suggest that traditional approaches to approximate truth (...)
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  • An Evolutionary Sceptical Challenge to Scientific Realism.Christophe de Ray - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-21.
    Evolutionary scepticism holds that the evolutionary account of the origins of the human cognitive apparatus has sceptical implications for at least some of our beliefs. A common target of evolutionary scepticism is moral realism. Scientific realism, on the other hand, is much less frequently targeted, though the idea that evolutionary theory should make us distrustful of science is by no means absent from the literature. This line of thought has received unduly little attention. I propose to remedy this by advancing (...)
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  • Complexity begets crosscutting, dooms hierarchy.Joyce C. Havstad - 2021 - Synthese 198 (8):7665-7696.
    There is a perennial philosophical dream of a certain natural order for the natural kinds. The name of this dream is ‘the hierarchy requirement’. According to this postulate, proper natural kinds form a taxonomy which is both unique and traditional. Here I demonstrate that complex scientific objects exist: objects which generate different systems of scientific classification, produce myriad legitimate alternatives amongst the nonetheless still natural kinds, and make the hierarchical dream impossible to realize, except at absurdly great cost. Philosophical hopes (...)
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  • Individuation and Explanation: A Problem for Dispositionalism.Tyler Hildebrand - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (12):3863-3883.
    According to dispositionalism, fundamental properties are dispositions—powers that don’t reduce to other properties, laws, or anything else. As dispositions manifest, natural regularities result, so this view appears to explain the uniformity of nature. However, in this paper I’ll argue that there are types of regularities that can’t be explained by dispositionalism. The basic idea is this. All accounts of fundamental dispositions endow properties with a certain sort of structure. This allows explanations of only those regularities that align with such structures. (...)
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  • How Science and Semantics Settle the Issue of Natural Kind Essentialism.Christian Nimtz - 2021 - Erkenntnis 86 (1):149-170.
    Standard arguments for essentialism with respect to natural kinds such as gold, star, water or tiger enlist essentialist principles or essentialist intuitions. I argue that we need neither. All it takes to establish essentialism for the kinds in question are insights from science and semantics. Semantics establishes that natural kind predicates such as “is gold” or “is a star” are paradigm terms whose application conditions are relationally determined, object involving, and actuality dependent. Science assures us that a posteriori hypotheses such (...)
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  • Against Sider on Fundamentality.David Mathers - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (4):823-838.
    Sider’s Writing the Book of the World gives an account of fundamentality in terms of his central ideological notion ‘structure’. Here I first argue against Sider’s claim that to be fundamental to a degree is to be structural to a degree. I argue there’s a pair of properties, P1 and P2, such that P1 is the more fundamental, but Sider is committed to counting P2 as the more structural. I then argue that if relative structure and relative fundamentality can come (...)
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  • From “Multiple Simultaneous Independent Discoveries” to the Theory of “Multiple Simultaneous Independent Errors”: A Conduit in Science.Jeffrey Seeman - 2018 - Foundations of Chemistry 20 (3):219-249.
    Multiple simultaneous independent discoveries, so well enunciated by Robert K. Merton in the early 1960s but already discussed for several hundreds of years, is a classic concept in the sociology of science. In this paper, the concept of multiple simultaneous independent errors is proposed, analyzed, and discussed. The concept of Selective Pessimistic Induction is proposed and used to connect MIDs with MIEs. Five types of MIEs are discussed: multiple errors in the interpretation of experimental data or computational results; multiple misjudgments (...)
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  • Right out of the box: how to situate metaphysics of science in relation to other metaphysical approaches.Alexandre Guay & Thomas Pradeu - 2020 - Synthese 197 (5):1847-1866.
    Several advocates of the lively field of “metaphysics of science” have recently argued that a naturalistic metaphysics should be based solely on current science, and that it should replace more traditional, intuition-based, forms of metaphysics. The aim of the present paper is to assess that claim by examining the relations between metaphysics of science and general metaphysics. We show that the current metaphysical battlefield is richer and more complex than a simple dichotomy between “metaphysics of science” and “traditional metaphysics”, and (...)
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  • The Space of Possibilities of Dispositional Essentialism.Xavi Lanao - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (11):2813-2839.
    How we define the space of possibilities of dispositional essentialism —that is, the set of possible worlds that are genuinely possible from the point of view of DE—has important consequences for central modal debates such as how to understand the concept of essence or the relation between DE and the necessity of laws of nature. In order to define DE’s space of possibilities we need to explore DE’s consequences regarding both necessity and possibility. Unfortunately, the notion of possibility has not (...)
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  • Scientific Realism: What It is, the Contemporary Debate, and New Directions.Darrell Patrick Rowbottom - 2019 - Synthese 196 (2):451-484.
    First, I answer the controversial question ’What is scientific realism?’ with extensive reference to the varied accounts of the position in the literature. Second, I provide an overview of the key developments in the debate concerning scientific realism over the past decade. Third, I provide a summary of the other contributions to this special issue.
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  • Scientific Realism: Quo Vadis? Introduction: New Thinking About Scientific Realism.Stathis Psillos & Emma Ruttkamp-Bloem - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3187-3201.
    This Introduction has two foci: the first is a discussion of the motivation for and the aims of the 2014 conference on New Thinking about Scientific Realism in Cape Town South Africa, and the second is a brief contextualization of the contributed articles in this special issue of Synthese in the framework of the conference. Each focus is discussed in a separate section.
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  • Three Conceptions of Explaining How Possibly—and One Reductive Account.Johannes Persson - 2009 - In Henk W. de Regt (ed.), Epsa Philosophy of Science: Amsterdam 2009. Springer. pp. 275--286.
    Philosophers of science have often favoured reductive approaches to how-possibly explanation. This article identifies three alternative conceptions making how-possibly explanation an interesting phenomenon in its own right. The first variety approaches “how possibly X?” by showing that X is not epistemically impossible. This can sometimes be achieved by removing misunderstandings concerning the implications of one’s current belief system but involves characteristically a modification of this belief system so that acceptance of X does not result in contradiction. The second variety offers (...)
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  • A Critique of Substance Causation.Andrei Buckareff - 2017 - Philosophia 45 (3):1019-1026.
    In her recent paper, “A Defense of Substance Causation,” Ann Whittle makes a case for substance causation. In this paper, assuming that causation is a generative or productive relation, I argue that Whittle’s argument is not successful. While substances are causally relevant in causal processes owing to outcomes being counterfactually dependent upon their role in such occurrences, the real productive work in causal processes is accomplished by the causal powers of substances.
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  • Predictive Processing and the Representation Wars: A Victory for the Eliminativist.Adrian Downey - 2018 - Synthese 195 (12):5115-5139.
    In this paper I argue that, by combining eliminativist and fictionalist approaches toward the sub-personal representational posits of predictive processing, we arrive at an empirically robust and yet metaphysically innocuous cognitive scientific framework. I begin the paper by providing a non-representational account of the five key posits of predictive processing. Then, I motivate a fictionalist approach toward the remaining indispensable representational posits of predictive processing, and explain how representation can play an epistemologically indispensable role within predictive processing explanations without thereby (...)
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  • I’M Just Sitting Around Doing Nothing: On Exercising Intentional Agency in Omitting to Act.Andrei Buckareff - 2018 - Synthese 195 (10):4617-4635.
    In some recent work on omissions, it has been argued that the causal theory of action cannot account for how agency is exercised in intentionally omitting to act in the same way it explains how agency is exercised in intentional action. Thus, causalism appears to provide us with an incomplete picture of intentional agency. I argue that causalists should distinguish causalism as a general theory of intentional agency from causalism as a theory of intentional action. Specifically, I argue that, while (...)
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  • The Metaphysics of Laws: Dispositionalism Vs. Primitivism.Mauro Dorato & Michael Esfeld - 2014 - In T. Bigaj & C. Wutrich (eds.), Metaphysics and Science. Poznan Studies.
    The paper compares dispositionalism about laws of nature with primitivism. It argues that while the distinction between these two positions can be drawn in a clear-cut manner in classical mechanics, it is less clear in quantum mechanics, due to quantum non-locality. Nonetheless, the paper points out advantages for dispositionalism in comparison to primitivism also in the area of quantum mechanics, and of contemporary physics in general.
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  • A Different Kind of Property Cluster Kind.Matthew Slater - unknown
    Richard Boyd has long campaigned for a view of natural kinds he calls the Homeostatic Property Cluster account. This account has been particularly exciting for philosophers of biology unhappy with traditional essentialism about natural kinds and the views that biological kinds are, in one way or another, “historical entities”. Though defenders of HPC kinds have done much to further articulate the view, many questions about the account remain. One pressing question concerns the way in which HPC kinds are supposed to (...)
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  • Causal Powers and Social Ontology.Tobias Hansson Wahlberg - 2020 - Synthese 197 (3):1357-1377.
    Over the last few decades, philosophers and social scientists have applied the so-called powers ontology to the social domain. I argue that this application is highly problematic: many of the alleged powers in the social realm violate the intrinsicality condition, and those that can be coherently taken to be intrinsic to their bearers are arguably causally redundant. I end the paper by offering a diagnosis of why philosophers and social scientists have been tempted to think that there are powers in (...)
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  • Interpretation and Equivalence; or, Equivalence and Interpretation.Neil Dewar - unknown
    Philosophers of science spend a lot of time “interpreting” scientific theories. In this paper, I try to get a handle on what it is they might be up to. My main contention is that a certain picture of interpretation is widespread in contemporary philosophy of science: a picture according to which interpretation of theories is relevantly analogous to the interpretation of foreign literature. On this picture, which we might call the external account of theory-interpretation, meaning is to be imported into (...)
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  • Perspectival Modeling.Michela Massimi - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (3):335-359.
    The goal of this article is to address the problem of inconsistent models and the challenge it poses for perspectivism. I analyze the argument, draw attention to some hidden premises behind it, and deflate them. Then I introduce the notion of perspectival models as a distinctive class of modeling practices whose primary function is exploratory. I illustrate perspectival modeling with two examples taken from contemporary high-energy physics at the Large Hadron Collider at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, which are (...)
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  • The History of Science as a Graveyard of Theories: A Philosophers’ Myth?Moti Mizrahi - 2016 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 30 (3):263-278.
    According to the antirealist argument known as the pessimistic induction, the history of science is a graveyard of dead scientific theories and abandoned theoretical posits. Support for this pessimistic picture of the history of science usually comes from a few case histories, such as the demise of the phlogiston theory and the abandonment of caloric as the substance of heat. In this article, I wish to take a new approach to examining the ‘history of science as a graveyard of theories’ (...)
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  • Scientific Realism Made Effective.Porter Williams - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (1):209-237.
    I argue that a common philosophical approach to the interpretation of physical theories—particularly quantum field theories—has led philosophers astray. It has driven many to declare the quantum field theories employed by practicing physicists, so-called ‘effective field theories’, to be unfit for philosophical interpretation. In particular, such theories have been deemed unable to support a realist interpretation. I argue that these claims are mistaken: attending to the manner in which these theories are employed in physical practice, I show that interpreting effective (...)
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  • The Realist Turn in the Philosophy of Science.Stathis Psillos - unknown
    This chapter offers a narrative of the basic twists and turns of the realism debate after the realist turn. It starts with what preceded and initiated the turn, viz., instrumentalist construals of scientific theories. It then moves on to discuss the basic lines of development of the realist stance to science, focusing on one of its main challenges: the historical challenge.
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  • Scientific Realism and Primitive Ontology Or: The Pessimistic Induction and the Nature of the Wave Function.Valia Allori - 2018 - Lato Sensu 1 (5):69-76.
    In this paper I wish to connect the recent debate in the philosophy of quantum mechanics concerning the nature of the wave function to the historical debate in the philosophy of science regarding the tenability of scientific realism. Being realist about quantum mechanics is particularly challenging when focusing on the wave function. According to the wave function ontology approach, the wave function is a concrete physical entity. In contrast, according to an alternative viewpoint, namely the primitive ontology approach, the wave (...)
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  • Una evaluación del realismo científico de Peirce a 100 años de su muerte.Cristian Soto - 2014 - Cuadernos de Filosofía Latinoamericana 35 (111):26.
    En este artículo se plantean las siguientes preguntas: primero, ¿es Peirce un realista científico? Segundo, ¿han sido relevantes las ideas de Peirce para la defensa contemporánea del realismo científico? Y tercero, ¿está el realismo científico peirceano comprometido con una metafísica de la ciencia? La respuesta a tales preguntas es positiva. En el argumento se apela tanto a consideraciones de los manuscritos de Peirce como al debate contemporáneo sobre realismo científico. Luego de algunas observaciones introductorias en la primera sección, se expone (...)
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  • Do We Need Two Notions of Natural Kind to Account for the History of “Jade”?Françoise Longy - 2018 - Synthese 195 (4):1459-1486.
    We need to distinguish two sorts of natural kinds, scientific and common NKs, because the notion of NK, which has to satisfy demands at three different levels—ontological, semantic and epistemological—, is subject to two incompatible sets of constraints. In order to prove this, I focus on the much-discussed case of jade. In the first part of the paper, I show that the current accounts are unsatisfactory because they are inconsistent. In the process, I explain why LaPorte’s analysis of “jade” as (...)
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  • Scientific Revolutions and the Explosion of Scientific Evidence.Ludwig Fahrbach - 2017 - Synthese 194 (12):5039-5072.
    Scientific realism, the position that successful theories are likely to be approximately true, is threatened by the pessimistic induction according to which the history of science is full of suc- cessful, but false theories. I aim to defend scientific realism against the pessimistic induction. My main thesis is that our current best theories each enjoy a very high degree of predictive success, far higher than was enjoyed by any of the refuted theories. I support this thesis by showing that both (...)
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  • Entity Realism and Singularist Semirealism.Bence Nanay - 2019 - Synthese 196 (2):499-517.
    Entity realism is the view that ‘a good many theoretical entities do really exist’. The main novelty of entity realism was that it provided an account of scientific realism that did not have to endorse realism about theories—the general proposal was that entity realism is noncommittal about whether we should be realist about scientific theories. I argue that the only way entity realists can resist the pull of straight scientific realism about theories is by endorsing a recent new player in (...)
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  • Natural Kinds as Categorical Bottlenecks.Laura Franklin-Hall - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (4):925-948.
    Both realist and anti-realist accounts of natural kinds possess prima facie virtues: realists can straightforwardly make sense of the apparent objectivity of the natural kinds, and anti-realists, their knowability. This paper formulates a properly anti-realist account designed to capture both merits. In particular, it recommends understanding natural kinds as ‘categorical bottlenecks,’ those categories that not only best serve us, with our idiosyncratic aims and cognitive capacities, but also those of a wide range of alternative agents. By endorsing an ultimately subjective (...)
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  • The Physics and Metaphysics of Identity and Individuality: Steven French and Décio Krause: Identity in Physics: A Historical, Philosophical, and Formal Analysis. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2006, 440 Pp, £68.00 HB.Don Howard, Bas C. van Fraassen, Otávio Bueno, Elena Castellani, Laura Crosilla, Steven French & Décio Krause - 2011 - Metascience 20 (2):225-251.
    The physics and metaphysics of identity and individuality Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9463-7 Authors Don Howard, Department of Philosophy and Graduate Program in History and Philosophy of Science, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556, USA Bas C. van Fraassen, Philosophy Department, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132, USA Otávio Bueno, Department of Philosophy, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL 33124, USA Elena Castellani, Department of Philosophy, University of Florence, Via Bolognese 52, 50139 (...)
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  • Data Fabrication and Falsification and Empiricist Philosophy of Science.David B. Resnik - 2014 - Science and Engineering Ethics 20 (2):423-431.
    Scientists have rules pertaining to data fabrication and falsification that are enforced with significant punishments, such as loss of funding, termination of employment, or imprisonment. These rules pertain to data that describe observable and unobservable entities. In this commentary I argue that scientists would not adopt rules that impose harsh penalties on researchers for data fabrication or falsification unless they believed that an aim of scientific research is to develop true theories and hypotheses about entities that exist, including unobservable ones. (...)
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  • Realism, Underdetermination and String Theory Dualities.Keizo Matsubara - 2013 - Synthese 190 (3):471-489.
    String theory promises to be able to provide us with a working theory of quantum gravity and a unified description of all fundamental forces. In string theory there are so called ‘dualities’; i.e. different theoretical formulations that are physically equivalent. In this article these dualities are investigated from a philosophical point of view. Semantic and epistemic questions relating to the problem of underdetermination of theories by data and the debate on realism concerning scientific theories are discussed. Depending on ones views (...)
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