The realist and selectionist explanations for the success of science

Synthese 200 (3):1-12 (2022)
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Abstract

According to realists, theories are successful because they are true, but according to selectionists, theories are successful because they have gone through a rigorous selection process. Wray claims that the realist and selectionist explanations are rivals to each other. Lee objects that they are instead complementary to each other. In my view, Lee’s objection presupposes that the realist explanation is true, and thus it begs the question against selectionists. By contrast, the selectionist explanation invokes a scientific theory, and thus it is not clear whether it is a realist explanation or an antirealist explanation. Finally, the six new arguments for scientific realism in the literature truly complement the no-miracles argument.

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Seungbae Park
Ulsan National Institute Of Science And Technology

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