Studies in scientific realism

Foundations of Chemistry 3 (1):79-86 (2001)
Abstract
The recent debate around scientific realism has taken an epistemic turn. The issue is no longer whether theoretical discourse is or is not assertoric (truth-valuable), nor whether theoretical discourse can be reduced to observational discourse. All sides of the present debate have left behind traditional instrumentalism and reductive empiricism. Instead, they endorse semantic realism which suggests that theoretical discourse (that is, statements about theoretical entities) should be understood literally and be taken to be assertoric and irreducible. In this setting, the philosophical reaction to realism challenges the grounds for the realists’ belief in the existence of the unobservable entities posited by theories and in the truth of the assertions made about them. This reaction can take different shapes. But the dominant one, coming from van Fraassen’s constructive empiricism, is that an empiricist cannot be rationally forced to be a scientific realist. In his view, an empiricist can understand scientific theories literally but remain agnostic as to the truth (or falsity) of their theoretical assertions. Besides, if an empiricist decides to accept a theory he accepts it not as true but as empirically adequate.
Keywords Philosophy   Chemistry/Food Science, general   Physical Chemistry   Philosophy of Science   History
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1011403012572
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 30,803
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Choosing the Realist Framework.Stathis Psillos - 2011 - Synthese 180 (2):301 - 316.
Scientific Realism, Ramsey Sentences and the Reference of Theoretical Terms.Pierre Cruse - 2004 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 18 (2 & 3):133 – 149.
Constructive Empiricism and Anti-Realism.Sam Mitchell - 1988 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1988:174 - 180.
Agnostic Empiricism Versus Scientific Realism: Belief in Truth Matters.Stathis Psillos - 2000 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 14 (1):57 – 75.
Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total downloads
123 ( #41,233 of 2,202,725 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #61,855 of 2,202,725 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature