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  1.  4
    How Deployment Realism Withstands Doppelt's Criticisms.Mario Alai - 2018 - Spontaneous Generations 9 (1):122-135.
    Gerald Doppelt claims that Deployment Realism cannot withstand the antirealist objections based on the “pessimistic meta-induction” and Laudan’s historical counterexamples. Moreover it is incomplete, as it purports to explain the predictive success of theories, but overlooks the necessity to explain also their explanatory success. Accordingly, he proposes a new version of realism, presented as the best explanation of both predictive and explanatory success, and committed only to the truth of best current theories, not of the discarded ones. Elsewhere I criticized (...)
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  2.  9
    Engaging Philosophically with the History of Science: Two Challenges for Scientific Realism.Theodore Arabatzis - 2018 - Spontaneous Generations 9 (1):35-37.
    I raise two challenges for scientific realists. The first is a pessimistic meta-induction, but not of the more common type, which focuses on rejected theories and abandoned entities. Rather, the PMI I have in mind departs from conceptual change, which is ubiquitous in science. Scientific concepts change over time, often to a degree that is difficult to square with the stability of their referents, a sine qua non for realists. The second challenge is to make sense of successful scientific practice (...)
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  3.  10
    Theoretical Practices That Work: Those That Mimic Nature’s Own.Nancy Cartwright - 2018 - Spontaneous Generations 9 (1):165-173.
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  4.  31
    What is Scientific Realism?Anjan Chakravartty & Bas C. Van Fraassen - 2018 - Spontaneous Generations 9 (1):12-25.
    Decades of debate about scientific realism notwithstanding, we find ourselves bemused by what different philosophers appear to think it is, exactly. Does it require any sort of belief in relation to scientific theories and, if so, what sort? Is it rather typified by a certain understanding of the rationality of such beliefs? In the following dialogue we explore these questions in hopes of clarifying some convictions about what scientific realism is, and what it could or should be. En route, we (...)
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  5.  31
    Realism for Realistic People.Hasok Chang - 2018 - Spontaneous Generations 9 (1):31-34.
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  6.  9
    Gravitational Waves and Scientific Realism.Harry Collins - 2018 - Spontaneous Generations 9 (1):38-41.
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  7.  5
    Motives for Research.Arthur Fine - 2018 - Spontaneous Generations 9 (1):42-45.
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  8.  3
    Editor's Introduction.Curtis Forbes - 2018 - Spontaneous Generations 9 (1):1-11.
    The debate over scientific realism, simply put, is a debate over what we can and should believe about reality once we've critically assessed all the available arguments and empirical evidence. Thinking earnestly about the merits of scientific realism as a philosophical thesis requires navigating contentious historiographical issues, being familiar with the technical details of various scientific theories, and addressing disparate philosophical problems spanning aesthetics, metaphysics, epistemology, and beyond. This issue of Spontaneous Generations: A Journal for the History and Philosophy of (...)
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  9.  1
    Feyerabendian Pragmatism.Jeff Foss - 2018 - Spontaneous Generations 9 (1):26-30.
    In the not-too-distant future the scientific realism debate will be absorbed into the far more ancient-and-venerable, old-and-unqualified, realism debate. The first efficient mover of this absorption will be the fact that scientific ontology is a growing and very mixed bag, including not just rocks, plants, animals, and stars, but the Higgs boson, the Big Bang, evolutionary pressures, teenage anxieties, economic growth, social trends, countries, industrial toxins, and hedge funds. Trying to hedge off these ever-stranger newcomers by such moves as castling (...)
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  10.  11
    Rebecca Lemov. Database of Dreams: The Lost Quest to Catalog Humanity. 354pp. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2015.Jennifer Fraser - 2018 - Spontaneous Generations 9 (1):183-185.
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  11.  14
    Scientific Realism and the History of Chemistry.Robin Hendry - 2018 - Spontaneous Generations 9 (1):108-117.
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  12.  12
    Machine Learning and the Future of Realism.Giles Hooker & Cliff Hooker - 2018 - Spontaneous Generations 9 (1):174-182.
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  13.  40
    Scientific Realism Again.James Ladyman - 2018 - Spontaneous Generations 9 (1):99-107.
    The present paper concerns how scientific realism is formulated and defended. It is argued that van Fraassen is fundamentally right that scientific realism requires metaphysics in general, and modality in particular. This is because of several relationships that raise problems for the ontology of scientific realism, namely those between: scientific realism and common sense realism; past and current theories; the sciences of different scales; and the ontologies of the special sciences and fundamental physics. These problems are related. It is argued (...)
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  14. Four Challenges to Epistemic Scientific Realism—and the Socratic Alternative.Timothy D. Lyons - 2018 - Spontaneous Generations 9 (1):146-150.
    Four Challenges to Epistemic Scientific Realism—and the Socratic Alternative.
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  15.  9
    Being Realistic: The Challenge of Theory Change for a Metaphysics of Scientific Realism.Kerry McKenzie - 2018 - Spontaneous Generations 9 (1):136-142.
    Chakravartty and others have pressed that the defender of scientific realism needs to supply a metaphysical story, most saliently a modal story, of how knowledge of the unobservable can be possible. Here I consider the challenge the problem of theory change poses to theories of modal metaphysics.
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  16.  5
    BEWARE OF Mad DOG Realist.Alan Musgrave - 2018 - Spontaneous Generations 9 (1):52-64.
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  17.  10
    Douglas A. Vakoch and Matthew F. Dowd. The Drake Equation: Estimating the Prevalence of Extraterrestrial Life Through the Ages. [REVIEW]Andrew Oakes - 2018 - Spontaneous Generations 9 (1):186-188.
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  18.  11
    Melinda Baldwin. Making Nature: The History of a Scientific Journal.Andrew Oakes - 2018 - Spontaneous Generations 9 (1):189-191.
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  19.  12
    Tolstoy’s Argument: Realism and the History of Science.Stathis Psillos - 2018 - Spontaneous Generations 9 (1):68-77.
    In his intervention to the ‘bankruptcy of science debate’, which raged in Paris in the turn of the twentieth century, Leo Tolstoy was one of the first to use the past record of science as a weapon against current science. It is not inductive. It does not conclude that all current scientific theories will be abandoned; nor that most of them will be abandoned; not even that it is more likely than not that all or most of them will be (...)
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  20.  6
    Beyond Realism and Antirealism ---At Last?Joseph Rouse - 2018 - Spontaneous Generations 9 (1):46-51.
    This paper recapitulates my four primary lines of argument that what is wrong with scientific realism is not realist answers to questions to which various anti-realists give different answers, but instead assumptions shared by realists and anti-realists in framing the question. Each strategy incorporates its predecessors as a consequence. A first, minimalist challenge, taken over from Arthur Fine and Michael Williams, rejects the assumption that the sciences have a general aim or goal. A second consideration is that realists and antirealists (...)
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  21.  58
    A Dilemma for the Scientific Realist.Howard Sankey - 2018 - Spontaneous Generations 9 (1):65-67.
    This note poses a dilemma for scientific realism which stems from the apparent conflict between science and common sense. On the one hand, we may accept scientific realism and agree that there is a conflict between science and common sense. If we do this, we remove the evidential basis for science and have no reason to accept science in the first place. On the other hand, we may accept scientific realism and endorse common sense. If we do this, we must (...)
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  22.  2
    Andre Holenstein, Hubert Steinke, and Martin Stuber, Eds. Scholars in Action: The Practice of Knowledge and the Figure of the Savant in the 18th Century, Volumes 1 and 2. [REVIEW]Kristen M. Schranz - 2018 - Spontaneous Generations 9 (1):192-195.
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  23.  3
    Why the Realism Debate Matters for Science Policy: The Case of the Human Brain Project.Jamie Craig Owen Shaw - 2018 - Spontaneous Generations 9 (1):82-98.
    There has been a great deal of skepticism towards the value of the realism/anti-realism debate. More specifically, many have argued that plausible formulations of realism and anti-realism do not differ substantially in any way. In this paper, I argue against this trend by demonstrating how a hypothetical resolution of the debate, through deeper engagement with the historical record, has important implications for our criterion of theory pursuit and science policy. I do this by revisiting Arthur Fine’s ‘small handful’ argument for (...)
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  24.  5
    A Fond Farewell to "Approximate Truth"?P. Kyle Stanford - 2018 - Spontaneous Generations 9 (1):78-81.
    Most commonly, the scientific realism debate is seen as dividing those who do and do not think that the striking empirical and practical successes of at least our best scientific theories indicate with high probability that those theories are ‘approximately true’. But I want to suggest that this characterization of the debate has far outlived its usefulness. Not only does it obscure the central differences between two profoundly different types of contemporary scientific realist, but even more importantly it serves to (...)
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  25.  12
    Referential and Perspectival Realism.Paul Teller - 2018 - Spontaneous Generations 9 (1):151-164.
    Ronald Giere has argued that at its best science gives us knowledge only from different “perspectives,” but that this knowledge still counts as scientific realism. Others have noted that his “perspectival realism” is in tension with scientific realism as traditionally understood: How can different, even conflicting, perspectives give us what there is really? This essay outlines a program that makes good on Giere’s idea with a fresh understanding of “realism” that eases this tension.
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  26.  8
    Quo Vadis Selective Scientific Realism?Peter Vickers - 2018 - Spontaneous Generations 9 (1):118-121.
    My current opinion is that the selective realist is in a strong position vis-à-vis the historical challenges. Certainly the realist needs to invoke some careful criteria for realist commitment, and various nuances concerning the nature of her epistemic commitment, and this may raise the ‘death by a thousand qualifications’ question mark. But the concern is unfounded: the qualifications are all independently motivated, and indeed necessary given the philosophical complexity. Qualifications are to be welcomed here; often the truth is far from (...)
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  27.  11
    The Relevance of Evidence From the History of Science in the Contemporary Realism/Anti-Realism Debate.K. Brad Wray - 2018 - Spontaneous Generations 9 (1):143-145.
    It is widely assumed that it is the anti-realist who stakes his case on evidence from the history of science. I argue that realists have failed to recognize the need to collect evidence from the history of science to support their methodological claims, and anti-realists do not rely on evidence from the history of science to the extent that many suggest.
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