Scientific realism and the inevitability of science

Abstract
This paper examines the question of whether scientific realism is committed to the inevitability of science or is consistent with claims of the contingency of science. In order to address this question, a general characterization of the position of scientific realism is presented. It is then argued that scientific realism has no evident implications with regard to the inevitability of science. A historical case study is presented in which contingency plays a significant role, and the appropriate realist response to this case study is indicated. Finally, it is argued that, when conjoined with a reliabilist theory of method, realism does have implications for the inevitability of science.
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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsa.2008.03.018
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References found in this work BETA
Scientific Realism: An Elaboration and a Defence.Howard Sankey - 2001 - Theoria A Journal of Social and Political Theory 98 (98):35-54.
Realism, Method and Truth.Howard Sankey - 2002 - In Michele Marsonet (ed.), The Problem of Realism. Ashgate. pp. 64.

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Citations of this work BETA
Inevitability, Contingency, and Epistemic Humility.Ian James Kidd - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 55:12-19.
State of the Field: Are the Results of Science Contingent or Inevitable?Katherina Kinzel - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 52:55-66.
Is the Contingentist/Inevitabilist Debate a Matter of Degrees?Joseph D. Martin - forthcoming - Philosophical Explorations 80 (5):919-930.
On Naturalizing Kuhn's Essential Tension.Paul Hoyningen-Huene & Simon Lohse - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (1):215-218.

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Scientific Realism: An Elaboration and a Defence.Howard Sankey - 2001 - Theoria A Journal of Social and Political Theory 98 (98):35-54.
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