Form vs. Content-driven Arguments for Realism

In P. D. Magnus & Jacob Busch (eds.), New Waves in Philosophy of Science. Palgrave-Macmillan (2009)

Authors
Juha Saatsi
University of Leeds
Abstract
I offer a meta-level analysis of realist arguments for the reliability of ampliative reasoning about the unobservable. We can distinguish form-driven and content-driven arguments for realism: form-driven arguments appeal to the form of inductive inferences, whilst content-driven arguments appeal to their specific content. After regimenting the realism debate in these terms, I will argue that the content-driven arguments are preferable. Along the way I will discuss how my analysis relates to John Norton’s recent, more general thesis that the grounds for licit induction are always material.
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Explanation and Explanationism in Science and Metaphysics.Juha Saatsi - forthcoming - In Matthew Slater & Zanja Yudell (eds.), Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Science: New Essays. Oxford University Press.
Normativity, the Base-Rate Fallacy, and Some Problems for Retail Realism.Paul Dicken - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (4):563-570.

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