Synthese 180 (2):87 - 101 (2011)

Authors
James Ladyman
University of Bristol
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)
Reprint years 2011
DOI 10.1007/s11229-009-9607-8
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: 53,666
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - University of Chicago Press.
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - University of Chicago Press.

View all 49 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

A Confrontation of Convergent Realism.Peter Vickers - 2013 - Philosophy of Science 80 (2):189-211.
Replacing Recipe Realism.Juha Saatsi - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3233-3244.
The History of Science as a Graveyard of Theories: A Philosophers’ Myth?Moti Mizrahi - 2016 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 30 (3):263-278.
Best Theory Scientific Realism.Gerald Doppelt - 2014 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 4 (2):271-291.

View all 35 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.
When Empirical Success Implies Theoretical Reference: A Structural Correspondence Theorem.Gerhard Schurz - 2009 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (1):101-133.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-05-29

Total views
563 ( #9,645 of 2,349,372 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
20 ( #34,294 of 2,349,372 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes