Authors
Abstract
Recent literature in the scientific realism debate has been concerned with a particular species of statistical fallacy concerning base-rates, and the worry that no matter how predictively successful our contemporary scientific theories may be, this will tell us absolutely nothing about the likelihood of their truth if our overall sample space contains enough empirically adequate theories that are nevertheless false. In response, both realists and anti-realists have switched their focus from general arguments concerning the reliability and historical track-records of our scientific methodology, to a series of specific arguments and case-studies concerning our reasons to believe individual scientific theories to be true. Such a development however sits in tension with the usual understanding of the scientific realism debate as offering a second-order assessment of our first-order scientific practices, and threatens to undermine the possibility of a distinctive philosophical debate over the approximate truth of our scientific theories. I illustrate this concern with three recent attempts to offer a more localised understanding of the scientific realism debate—due to Stathis Psillos, Juha Saatsi, and Kyle Stanford—and argue that none of these alternatives offer a satisfactory response to the problem.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1016/j.shpsa.2013.09.005
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 58,321
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

What is Mathematical Truth?Hilary Putnam - 1975 - In Mathematics, Matter and Method. Cambridge University Press. pp. 60--78.
Realist Ennui and the Base Rate Fallacy.P. D. Magnus & Craig Callender - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (3):320-338.
A Material Theory of Induction.John D. Norton - 2003 - Philosophy of Science 70 (4):647-670.
The Natural Ontological Attitude.Arthur I. Fine - 1984 - In J. Leplin (ed.), Scientific Realism. University of California Press. pp. 261--77.
Scientific Realism and Naturalistic Epistemology.Richard Boyd - 1980 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1980:613-662.

View all 15 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Scientific Realism.Richard Boyd - 1984 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 21 (1&2):767-791.
Historical Inductions: New Cherries, Same Old Cherry-Picking.Moti Mizrahi - 2015 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 29 (2):129-148.
Scientific Realism.Anjan Chakravartty - 2011 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Retail Realism, the Individuation of Theoretical Entities, and the Case of the Muriatic Radical.Jonathon Hricko - 2018 - In Otávio Bueno, Ruey-Lin Chen & Melinda Bonnie Fagan (eds.), Individuation, Process, and Scientific Practices. New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
Kuhnian Theory-Choice and Virtue Convergence: Facing the Base Rate Fallacy.Samuel Schindler - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 64:30-37.

View all 8 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Probabilistic No Miracles Argument.Jan Sprenger - 2016 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 6 (2):173-189.
Realist Ennui and the Base Rate Fallacy.P. D. Magnus & Craig Callender - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (3):320-338.
Non‐Competitor Conditions in the Scientific Realism Debate.Timothy D. Lyons - 2009 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 23 (1):65-84.
Does the Miracle Argument Embody a Base Rate Fallacy?Cornelis Menke - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 45:103-108.
Does Scientific Realism Matter?Carl Alan Matheson - 1986 - Dissertation, Syracuse University
Three Paradigms of Scientific Realism: A Truthmaking Account.Jamin Asay - 2013 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27 (1):1-21.
Scientific Realism and Antirealism.Michael Liston - 2016 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Scientific Realism with a Humean Face.Stathis Psillos - 2011 - In Steven French & Juha Saatsi (eds.), The Continuum Companion to the Philosophy of Science. London: pp. 75-95.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2014-01-23

Total views
46 ( #221,136 of 2,419,785 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #542,712 of 2,419,785 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes