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Resisting Scientific Realism

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (2018)

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  1. The realist and selectionist explanations for the success of science.Seungbae Park - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-12.
    According to realists, theories are successful because they are true, but according to selectionists, theories are successful because they have gone through a rigorous selection process. Wray claims that the realist and selectionist explanations are rivals to each other. Lee objects that they are instead complementary to each other. In my view, Lee’s objection presupposes that the realist explanation is true, and thus it begs the question against selectionists. By contrast, the selectionist explanation invokes a scientific theory, and thus it (...)
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  • Reality in Perspectives.Mahdi Khalili - 2022 - Dissertation, VU University Amsterdam
    This dissertation is about human knowledge of reality. In particular, it argues that scientific knowledge is bounded by historically available instruments and theories; nevertheless, the use of several independent instruments and theories can provide access to the persistent potentialities of reality. The replicability of scientific observations and experiments allows us to obtain explorable evidence of robust entities and properties. The dissertation includes seven chapters. It also studies three cases – namely, Higgs bosons and hypothetical Ϝ-particles (section 2.4), the Ptolemaic and (...)
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  • Tinbergen’s Four Questions and the Debate Between Scientific Realism and Selectionism.Kok Yong Lee - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):12643-12661.
    According to the no-miracle argument, scientific realism is the only view that does not render the predictive success of scientific theories miraculous. Against the no-miracle argument, selectionists argue that the predictive success of scientific theories is a product of them being subject to a selection process that weeds out predictively unsuccessful theories. Against selectionism, I argue that the selectionist explanation is not an alternative to the realist one. More precisely, I draw on a standard framework in behavioral biology, known as (...)
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  • Incompatibility and the Pessimistic Induction: A Challenge for Selective Realism.Florian J. Boge - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (2):1-31.
    Two powerful arguments have famously dominated the realism debate in philosophy of science: The No Miracles Argument and the Pessimistic Meta-Induction. A standard response to the PMI is selective scientific realism, wherein only the working posits of a theory are considered worthy of doxastic commitment. Building on the recent debate over the NMA and the connections between the NMA and the PMI, I here consider a stronger inductive argument that poses a direct challenge for SSR: Because it is sometimes exactly (...)
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  • What Can Artificial Intelligence Do for Scientific Realism?Petr Spelda & Vit Stritecky - 2020 - Axiomathes 31 (1):85-104.
    The paper proposes a synthesis between human scientists and artificial representation learning models as a way of augmenting epistemic warrants of realist theories against various anti-realist attempts. Towards this end, the paper fleshes out unconceived alternatives not as a critique of scientific realism but rather a reinforcement, as it rejects the retrospective interpretations of scientific progress, which brought about the problem of alternatives in the first place. By utilising adversarial machine learning, the synthesis explores possibility spaces of available evidence for (...)
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  • An Absurd Consequence of Stanford’s New Induction Over the History of Science: A Reply to Sterpetti.Moti Mizrahi - 2019 - Axiomathes 29 (5):515-527.
    In this paper, I respond to Sterpetti’s attempt to defend Kyle P. Stanford’s Problem of Unconceived Alternatives and his New Induction over the History of Science from my reductio argument outlined in Mizrahi :59–68, 2016a). I discuss what I take to be the ways in which Sterpetti has misconstrued my argument against Stanford’s NIS, in particular, that it is a reductio, not a dilemma, as Sterpetti erroneously thinks. I argue that antirealists who endorse Stanford’s NIS still face an absurd consequence (...)
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  • Against Cognitive Instrumentalism.Stathis Psillos & Lisa Zorzato - 2021 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 33 (4):247-257.
    1. In his 1964 review of Jack Smart’s classic Philosophy and Scientific Realism, Willard Van Quine, after quoting Smart saying that he propounds an ‘unashamedly realistic view of the fundamental pa...
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  • Is Truth the Gold Standard of Inquiry? A Comment on Elgin’s Argument Against Veritism.Moti Mizrahi - 2021 - Foundations of Science 26 (2):275-280.
    In True enough,, Elgin 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 to gold, (...)
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