Reliabilism and the Abductive Defence of Scientific Realism

Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 39 (1):115-120 (2008)
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Abstract

According to the “no-miracles argument” (NMA), truth is the best explanation of the predictive-instrumental success of scientific theories. A standard objection against NMA is that it is viciously circular. In Scientific Realism: How Science Tracks Truth Stathis Psillos has claimed that the circularity objection can be met when NMA is supplemented with a reliabilist approach to justification. I will try to show, however, that scientific realists cannot take much comfort from this policy: if reliabilism makes no qualifications about the domain where inference to the best explanation is reliable, scientific realists flagrantly beg the question. A qualified version of reliabilism, on the other side, does not entitle us to infer the realist conclusion. I conclude, then, that Psillos’s proposal does not make any significant progress for scientific realism.

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Valeriano Iranzo
Universitat de Valencia

Citations of this work

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.
Default privilege and bad lots: Underconsideration and explanatory inference.Kareem Khalifa - 2010 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 24 (1):91 – 105.

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References found in this work

Epistemology and cognition.Alvin I. Goldman - 1986 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 1991 - London and New York: Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group.

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