Erkenntnis 38 (2):203 - 222 (1993)

Abstract
The central terms of certain theories which were valued highly in the past, such as the phlogiston theory, are now believed by realists not to refer. Laudan and others have claimed that, in the light of the existence of such theories, scientific realism is untenable. This paper argues in response that realism is consistent with — and indeed is able to explain — such theories' having been highly valued and yet not being close to the truth. It follows that the set of highly-valued past theories cited by Laudan, presumed to militate against realism, is in fact innocuous to the doctrine. The argument hinges largely on identifying the grounds on which theory-adoption is actually performed.
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DOI 10.1007/BF01128980
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References found in this work BETA

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
The Scientific Image.William Demopoulos & Bas C. van Fraassen - 1982 - Philosophical Review 91 (4):603.
Meaning and the Moral Sciences.Hilary Putnam - 1978 - Routledge and Kegan Paul.
A Confutation of Convergent Realism.Larry Laudan - 1981 - Philosophy of Science 48 (1):19-49.

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Citations of this work BETA

Scientific Realism.Richard Boyd - 1984 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 21 (1&2):767-791.
Scientific Realism.Anjan Chakravartty - 2011 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
The Pessimistic Meta-Induction: Obsolete Through Scientific Progress?Florian Müller - 2015 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 29 (4):393-412.
Erkenntnistheoretische Und Ontologische Probleme der Theoretischen Begriffe.Marco Buzzoni - 1997 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 28 (1):19-53.

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