Fictions, inference and realism

In John Woods (ed.), Fictions and Models: New Essays. Munich: Philosophia Verlag (2010)
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Abstract

Abstract: It is often assumed without argument that fictionalism in the philosophy of science contradicts scientific realism. This paper is a critical analysis of this assumption. The kind of fictionalism that is at present discussed in philosophy of science is characterised, and distinguished from fictionalism in other areas. A distinction is then drawn between forms of fictional representation, and two competing accounts of fiction in science are discussed. I then outline explicitly what I take to be the argument for the incompatibility of scientific realism with fictionalism. I argue that some of its premises are unwarranted, and are moreover questionable from a fictionalist perspective. The conclusion is that fictionalism is neutral in the realism-antirealism debate, pulling neither in favour nor against scientific realism.

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Mauricio Suárez
Complutense University of Madrid

Citations of this work

Truth in Fiction: Rethinking its Logic.John Woods - 2018 - Cham, Switzerland: Springer Verlag.
Mirrors without warnings.Roman Frigg & James Nguyen - 2019 - Synthese 198 (3):2427-2447.
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Explaining with Models: The Role of Idealizations.Julie Jebeile & Ashley Graham Kennedy - 2015 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 29 (4):383-392.
Don’t Blame the Idealizations.Nicholaos Jones - 2013 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 44 (1):85-100.

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