Why the no‐miracles argument fails

Abstract

The chief argument for scientific realism is the no-miracles argument, according to which the approximate truth of our current scientific theories can be inferred from their success through time. To date, anti-realist responses to the argument have been unconvincing, largely because of their anti-realistic presuppositions. In this paper, it is shown that realists cannot pre-emptively dismiss the problem of the underdetermination of theory by evidence, and that the no-miracles argument fails because it does nothing to dispel the threat posed by underdetermination, although it may be effective against other anti-realistic arguments.

Download options

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 72,879

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-02-01

Downloads
139 (#86,636)

6 months
2 (#257,834)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Carl Alan Matheson
University of Manitoba

References found in this work

The Scientific Image.C. Van Fraassen Bas - 1980 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
The Scientific Image.William Demopoulos & Bas C. van Fraassen - 1982 - Philosophical Review 91 (4):603.
A Confutation of Convergent Realism.Larry Laudan - 1981 - Philosophy of Science 48 (1):19-49.
The Scientific Image.Michael Friedman - 1982 - Journal of Philosophy 79 (5):274-283.

View all 27 references / Add more references

Citations of this work

Partial Convergence and Approximate Truth.Duncan Macintosh - 1994 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 45 (1):153-170.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Underdetermination, Holism and the Theory/Data Distinction.Samir Okasha - 2002 - Philosophical Quarterly 52 (208):303-319.
The Scope and Limits of the No Miracles Argument1.Stathis Psillos - 2011 - In Dennis Dieks, Wenceslao Gonzalo, Thomas Uebel, Stephan Hartmann & Marcel Weber (eds.), Explanation, Prediction, and Confirmation. Springer. pp. 23--35.
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.
Platonism and Anti‐Platonism: Why Worry?Mary Leng - 2005 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 19 (1):65 – 84.
Martin on Miracles.Michael Almeida - 2007 - Philo 10 (1):27-34.