How to Remain (Reasonably) Optimistic: Scientific Realism and the "Luminiferous Ether"

Fresnel's theory of light was (a) impressively predictively successful yet (b) was based on an "entity" (the elastic-solid ether) that we now "know" does not exist. Does this case "confute" scientific realism as Laudan suggested? Previous attempts (by Hardin and Rosenberg and by Kitcher) to defuse the episode's anti-realist impact. The strongest form of realism compatible with this case of theory-rejection is in fact structural realism. This view was developed by Poincare who also provided reasons to think that it is the only realist view of theories that really makes sense.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 28,829
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Reconsidering the Fresnel–Maxwell Theory Shift: How the Realist Can Have Her Cake and EAT It Too.Juha Saatsi - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 36 (3):509-538.

View all 11 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Science and Reality.[author unknown] - 1929 - Journal of Philosophical Studies 4 (16):580-581.
A Critique of Localized Realism.Mohamed Elsamahi - 2005 - Philosophy of Science 72 (5):1350-1360.
Three Paradigms of Scientific Realism: A Truthmaking Account.Jamin Asay - 2013 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27 (1):1-21.
How to Be Realistic About Folk Psychology.George Graham & Terence E. Horgan - 1988 - Philosophical Psychology 1 (1):69-81.
Did Perrin's Experiments Convert Poincare to Scientific Realism.Milena Ivanova - 2013 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 3 (1):1-19.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

84 ( #62,931 of 2,178,178 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #112,524 of 2,178,178 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums