Are realism and instrumentalism methodologically indifferent?

Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2001 (3):S25- (2001)
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Arthur Fine and André Kukla have argued that realism and instrumentalism are indifferent with respect to scientific practice. I argue that this claim is ambiguous. One interpretation is that for any practice, the fact that that practice yields predictively successful theories is evidentially indifferent between scientific realism and instrumentalism. On the second construal, the claim is that for any practice, adoption of that practice by a scientist is indifferent between their being a realist or instrumentalist. I argue that there are no good arguments for the indifference claim under the second interpretation, and good reasons to think that it is false.



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Robin Hendry
Durham University

Citations of this work

Coherence of Our Best Scientific Theories.Seungbae Park - 2011 - Foundations of Science 16 (1):21-30.
Motives for Research.Arthur Fine - 2018 - Spontaneous Generations 9 (1):42-45.
Editorial.[author unknown] - 2017 - Disputatio 9 (44):1-4.

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