Topoi 32 (1):43-51 (2013)

Abstract
In this essay, I critically evaluate the approaches to explaining the success of science in Kuhn and the works of inference-to-the-best-explanation scientific realists. Kuhn ’s challenge to realists, who invoke the truth of theories to explain their success, is two-fold. His paradigm-account of success confronts realists with the problem of theory change, and the historical fact of successful theories later rejected as false. Secondly, Kuhn ’s account of the success of science has no need to bring truth into the explanation. In turn, I argue that weakness in Kuhn and the prevailing forms of scientific realism motivate a better account of realism which I characterize as ‘best current theory realism’ and defend against the pessimistic meta-induction and the problem of theory-change. This realism argues that the best explanation of the success of current and past scientific theories only requires the simple claim that our best current theories are true. Kuhn ’s account can explain how normal science succeeds but cannot account for why its problem solutions work where they do and why they fail for other puzzles
Keywords Success of science  Inference-to-the-best-explanation realism  Kuhnian paradigm-account  Structural realism  Theory change  The pessimistic meta-induction  Best current theory realism
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1007/s11245-012-9135-x
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: 53,047
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

A Confutation of Convergent Realism.Larry Laudan - 1981 - Philosophy of Science 48 (1):19-49.
A Confutation of Convergent Realism.Larry Laudan - 1980 - In Yuri Balashov & Alexander Rosenberg (eds.), Philosophy of Science: Contemporary Readings. Routledge. pp. 211.

View all 7 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

On Treating Past and Present Scientific Theories Differently.Seungbae Park - 2017 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 31 (1):63-76.
How Deployment Realism Withstands Doppelt's Criticisms.Mario Alai - 2018 - Spontaneous Generations 9 (1):122-135.
A (Fatal) Trilemma for Best Theory Realism.José Díez - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 8 (2):271-291.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Theory Change and Degrees of Success.Ludwig Fahrbach - 2011 - Philosophy of Science 78 (5):1283-1292.
From Standard Scientific Realism and Structural Realism to Best Current Theory Realism.Gerald D. Doppelt - 2011 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 42 (2):295-316.
The Historical Objection to Scientific Realism.Jarrett Leplin - 1982 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1982:88 - 97.
Why the Ultimate Argument for Scientific Realism Ultimately Fails.Moti Mizrahi - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 43 (1):132-138.
Abduction and Scientific Realism.Ilkka Niiniluoto - 2007 - The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 12:137-142.
Scientific Realism and the Indispensability Argument for Mathematical Realism: A Marriage Made in Hell.Jacob Busch - 2011 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 25 (4):307-325.
A Critique of Localized Realism.Mohamed Elsamahi - 2005 - Philosophy of Science 72 (5):1350-1360.
The Prospective Stance in Realism.Ioannis Votsis - 2011 - Philosophy of Science 78 (5):1223-1234.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2012-10-19

Total views
120 ( #76,572 of 2,344,286 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #239,607 of 2,344,286 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes