Scientific Realism

Science and Society 57 (2):160 - 193 (1993)

Abstract
The task of the present paper is to formulate the essential arguments for a scientific realism based on science and especially on physics. The first part of the paper constitutes a critical refutation of the doctrine of David Hume and of contemporary antirealism. The thesis concerning the objectivity of nature is founded on arguments deriving from physics, cosmology and physiology. More specifically, modern energetism is refuted on the basis of the relativistic relations among mass, matter and energy. Modern neoplatonism is also refuted on the basis of data from elementary particle physics. The dialectic between the phenomenon and the "thing in itself" is approached in a way that goes against the Kantian dichotomy. Scientific realism transcends both intuitive realism and positivism, grounded as it is on contemporary, anti-intuitive science and social praxis.
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