Structural realism versus standard scientific realism: the case of phlogiston and dephlogisticated air

Synthese 180 (2):87 - 101 (2011)
Abstract
The aim of this paper is to revisit the phlogiston theory to see what can be learned from it about the relationship between scientific realism, approximate truth and successful reference. It is argued that phlogiston theory did to some extent correctly describe the causal or nomological structure of the world, and that some of its central terms can be regarded as referring. However, it is concluded that the issue of whether or not theoretical terms successfully refer is not the key to formulating the appropriate form of scientific realism in response to arguments from theory change, and that the case of phlogiston theory is shown to be readily accommodated by ontic structural realism.
Keywords Structural realism  Phlogiston  Scientific realism
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11229-009-9607-8
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 29,861
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - University of Chicago Press.
Real Patterns.Daniel C. Dennett - 1991 - Journal of Philosophy 88 (1):27-51.

View all 26 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
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.
Scientific Pluralism and the Chemical Revolution.Martin Kusch - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 49:69-79.
Re-Enchanting Realism in Debate with Kyle Stanford.Emma Ruttkamp-Bloem - 2013 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 44 (1):201-224.

View all 13 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Recent Debates Over Structural Realism.Daniel McArthur - 2006 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 37 (2):209 - 224.
Scientific Realism Bit by Bit: Part I. Kitcher on Reference.Christina McLeish - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 36 (4):668--686.
When Empirical Success Implies Theoretical Reference: A Structural Correspondence Theorem.Gerhard Schurz - 2009 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (1):101-133.
Added to PP index
2009-05-29

Total downloads
440 ( #5,889 of 2,210,666 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
18 ( #19,331 of 2,210,666 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature