What is Hacking’s argument for entity realism?

Synthese 193 (3):991-1006 (2016)
Authors
Boaz Miller
Zefat Academic College
Abstract
According to Ian Hacking’s Entity Realism, unobservable entities that scientists carefully manipulate to study other phenomena are real. Although Hacking presents his case in an intuitive, attractive, and persuasive way, his argument remains elusive. I present five possible readings of Hacking’s argument: a no-miracle argument, an indispensability argument, a transcendental argument, a Vichian argument, and a non-argument. I elucidate Hacking’s argument according to each reading, and review their strengths, their weaknesses, and their compatibility with each other
Keywords Scientific realism  Entity realism  Inference to the best explanation  Transcendental arguments  Indispensability arguments  Scepticism
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-015-0789-y
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References found in this work BETA

Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 2004 - Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group.
How the Laws of Physics Lie.Nancy Cartwright - 1983 - Oxford University Press.
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - University of Chicago Press.

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