Authors
Ronald Laymon
Ohio State University
Abstract
Using the Schwarzschild calculation of the Relativistic bending of starlight near the sun as an illustration, it is shown that the relationship between theory and data requires a hierarchy of structures of different logical type. An essential feature of this hierarchy is the use of idealizations and approximate truths. On the basis of a counterfactual analysis of these concepts, it is shown that confirmation is possible even though statistical measures of goodness of fit are not satisfied. The consequences of this view of confirmation and hierarchical structure for scientific realism are then considered.
Keywords Realism   Confirmation   Idealisation   Philosophy of Science
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Citations of this work BETA

Pluralistic Ontology and Theory Reduction in the Physical Sciences.Fritz Rohrlich - 1988 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 39 (3):295-312.
The Structure of Idealization in Biological Theories: The Case of the Wright-Fisher Model.Xavier de Donato Rodríguez & Alfonso Arroyo Santos - 2012 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 43 (1):11-27.
The Structure of Idealization in Biological Theories: The Case of the Wright-Fisher Model. [REVIEW]Xavier Donato Rodríguez & Alfonso Arroyo Santos - 2012 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 43 (1):11-27.

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