Miracles, pessimism and scientific realism

Abstract

Worrall argued that structural realism provides a ‘synthesis’ of the main pro-realist argument – the ‘No Miracles Argument’, and the main anti-realist argument – the ‘Pessimistic Induction’. More recently, however, it has been claimed that each of these arguments is an instance of the same probabilistic fallacy – sometimes called the ‘base-rate fallacy’. If correct, this clearly seems to undermine structural realism and Magnus and Callender have indeed claimed that both arguments are fallacious and ‘without [them] we lose the rationale for … structural realism ’. I here argue that what have been shown to be fallacious are simply misguided formalisations of ‘the’ arguments and that when they are properly construed they continue to provide powerful motivation for favouring structural realism.

Download options

PhilArchive

External links

  • This entry has no external links. Add one.
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

  • Only published works are available at libraries.

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-02-28

Downloads
1,750 (#2,870)

6 months
57 (#13,711)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

References found in this work

A Confutation of Convergent Realism.Larry Laudan - 1981 - Philosophy of Science 48 (1):19-49.
A Confutation of Convergent Realism.Larry Laudan - 1980 - In Yuri Balashov & Alexander Rosenberg (eds.), Philosophy of Science: Contemporary Readings. Routledge. pp. 211.

View all 16 references / Add more references

Similar books and articles

Recent Debates Over Structural Realism.Daniel McArthur - 2006 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 37 (2):209 - 224.
Structural Realism and Davidson.Jack Ritchie - 2008 - Synthese 162 (1):85 - 100.
Why the No‐Miracles Argument Fails.Carl Matheson - 1998 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 12 (3):263 – 279.