Extensional Scientific Realism vs. Intensional Scientific Realism

Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 59:46-52 (2016)
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Abstract

Extensional scientific realism is the view that each believable scientific theory is supported by the unique first-order evidence for it and that if we want to believe that it is true, we should rely on its unique first-order evidence. In contrast, intensional scientific realism is the view that all believable scientific theories have a common feature and that we should rely on it to determine whether a theory is believable or not. Fitzpatrick argues that extensional realism is immune, while intensional realism is not, to the pessimistic induction. I reply that if extensional realism overcomes the pessimistic induction at all, that is because it implicitly relies on the theoretical resource of intensional realism. I also argue that extensional realism, by nature, cannot embed a criterion for distinguishing between believable and unbelievable theories.

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Seungbae Park
Ulsan National Institute Of Science And Technology

Citations of this work

Scientific Realism.Anjan Chakravartty - 2011 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Scientific Realism.Richard Boyd - 1984 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 21 (1&2):767-791.

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