Theory Status, Inductive Realism, and Approximate Truth: No Miracles, No Charades


Abstract
The concept of approximate truth plays a prominent role in most versions of scientific realism. However, adequately conceptualizing ?approximate truth? has proved challenging. This article argues that the goal of articulating the concept of approximate truth can be advanced by first investigating the processes by which science accords theories the status of accepted or rejected. Accordingly, this article uses a path diagram model as a visual heuristic for the purpose of showing the processes in science that are involved in determining a theory's status. This ?inductive realist? model of theory status then serves as a starting point for explicating an inductive realist view of approximate truth that, it is argued, can explain instances of the success of science, but does not (1) require science's theories to be strictly true in any world or (2) require a metric for measuring how close an approximately true theory is to some strictly true theory. To show the advantages of the inductive realist approach to approximate truth, an example of a major success story of science, the successful eradication of smallpox, is reviewed and then explained
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/02698595.2011.574858
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 46,483
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

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - University of Chicago Press.
The Scientific Image.Michael Friedman - 1982 - Journal of Philosophy 79 (5):274-283.

View all 73 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Approximate Truth and Scientific Realism.Thomas Weston - 1992 - Philosophy of Science 59 (1):53-74.
Convergent Realism and Approximate Truth.David B. Resnik - 1992 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992:421-434.
Partial Convergence and Approximate Truth.Duncan Macintosh - 1994 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 45 (1):153-170.
Truth and Representation in Science: Two Inspirations From Art.Anjan Chakravartty - 2010 - Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science:33-50.
Approximate Truth and Dynamical Theories.Peter Smith - 1998 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 49 (2):253-277.
Approximate Generalizations and Their Idealization.Ernest W. Adams - 1982 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1982:199 - 207.
Approximate Truth and Confirmation.Robert John Schwartz - 1981 - Philosophy of Science 48 (4):606-610.
Why Does Laudan’s Confutation of Convergent Realism Fail?Antonio Diéguez-Lucena - 2006 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 37 (2):393 - 403.
Scientific Realism: An Elaboration and a Defence.Howard Sankey - 2001 - Theoria A Journal of Social and Political Theory 98 (98):35-54.
The Problem of Deep Competitors and the Pursuit of Epistemically Utopian Truths.Timothy D. Lyons - 2011 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 42 (2):317-338.
How to Split a Theory: Defending Selective Realism and Convergence Without Proximity.D. Harker - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (1):79-106.
Why the No‐Miracles Argument Fails.Carl Matheson - 1998 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 12 (3):263 – 279.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2011-07-28

Total views
162 ( #50,112 of 2,286,467 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #419,675 of 2,286,467 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature