Scientific realism: An elaboration and a defence

Theoria A Journal of Social and Political Theory 98 (98):35-54 (2001)
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Abstract

This paper describes the position of scientific realism and presents the basic lines of argument for the position. Simply put, scientific realism is the view that the aim of science is knowledge of the truth about observable and unobservable aspects of a mind-independent, objective reality. Scientific realism is supported by several distinct lines of argument. It derives from a non-anthropocentric conception of our place in the natural world, and it is grounded in the epistemology and metaphysics of common sense. Further, the success of science entitles us to infer both the approximate truth of mature scientific theories and the truth-conduciveness of the methods of science.

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Howard Sankey
University of Melbourne

Citations of this work

Scientific Realism and the Stratagema de Divide Et Impera.Timothy D. Lyons - 2006 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (3):537-560.
Realism and the Epistemic Objectivity of Science.Howard Sankey - 2021 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 35 (1):5-20.
Scientific Realism.Timothy D. Lyons - 2016 - In Paul Humphreys (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Science. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 564-584.
How to Split a Theory: Defending Selective Realism and Convergence Without Proximity.David Harker - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (1):79-106.

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