Scientific Realism in the Wild: An Empirical Study of Seven Sciences and History and Philosophy of Science

Philosophy of Science 87 (2):336-364 (2020)

Authors
Finnur Dellsén
University of Iceland
James R. Beebe
State University of New York, Buffalo
Abstract
We report the results of a study that investigated the views of researchers working in seven scientific disciplines and in history and philosophy of science in regard to four hypothesized dimensions of scientific realism. Among other things, we found that natural scientists tended to express more strongly realist views than social scientists, that history and philosophy of science scholars tended to express more antirealist views than natural scientists, that van Fraassen’s characterization of scientific realism failed to cluster with more standard characterizations, and that those who endorsed the pessimistic induction were no more or less likely to endorse antirealism.
Keywords scientific realism  constructive empiricism  experimental philosophy  history and philosophy of science
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DOI 10.1086/707552
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