Science and Philosophy 8 (2):7-15 (2020)

Authors
Billy Wheeler
Sun Yat-Sen University
Abstract
That many of our most successful scientific theories involve one or more idealizations poses a challenge to traditional models of theory confirmation. One popular response amongst scientific realists is the “improvement model of confirmation”: if tightening up one or more of the idealizations leads to greater predictive accuracy, then this supports the belief that the theory’s inaccuracy is a result of its idealizations and not because it is wrong. In this article I argue that the improvement model is deeply flawed and that therefore idealizations continue to undermine “success-to-truth” arguments for scientific realism.
Keywords bootstrapping  idealization  scientific realism  theory confirmation
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DOI 10.23756/sp.v8i2.555
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References found in this work BETA

Three Kinds of Idealization.Michael Weisberg - 2007 - Journal of Philosophy 104 (12):639-659.
Galilean Idealization.Ernan McMullin - 1985 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 16 (3):247.
Cartwright and the Lying Laws of Physics.Ronald Laymon - 1989 - Journal of Philosophy 86 (7):353-372.
Cartwright and the Lying Laws of Physics.Ronald Laymon - 1989 - Journal of Philosophy 86 (7):353.

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