On Treating Past and Present Scientific Theories Differently

Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 31 (1):63-76 (2017)
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Abstract

Scientific realists argue that present theories are more successful than past theories, so present theories will not be superseded by alternatives, even though past theories were superseded by alternatives. Alai (2016) objects that although present theories are more successful than past theories, they will be replaced by future theories, just as past theories were replaced by present theories. He contends, however, that past theories were partly true, and that present theories are largely true. I argue that Alai’s discrimination between past and present theories is subject to his own criticism against realists’ discriminations between past and present theories, and also subject to other criticisms that philosophers have raised against scientific realism and pessimism.

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Seungbae Park
Ulsan National Institute Of Science And Technology

Citations of this work

Optimistic Realism over Selectivism.Seungbae Park - 2019 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 33 (1):89-106.
The Anti-Induction for Scientific Realism.Seungbae Park - 2018 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 95 (3):329-342.

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References found in this work

A treatise of human nature.David Hume & A. D. Lindsay - 1739 - Oxford,: Clarendon press. Edited by L. A. Selby-Bigge.
A Treatise of Human Nature.David Hume & A. D. Lindsay - 1958 - Philosophical Quarterly 8 (33):379-380.
A novel defense of scientific realism.Jarrett Leplin - 1997 - New York: Oxford University Press.

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