Realism versus anti-realism: philosophical problem or scientific concern?

Synthese 196 (10):3961-3977 (2019)
  Copy   BIBTEX


The decision whether to have a realist or an anti-realist attitude towards scientific hypotheses is interpreted in this paper as a choice that scientists themselves have to face in their work as scientists, rather than as a ‘philosophical’ problem. Scientists’ choices between realism and instrumentalism are interpreted in this paper with the help of two different conceptual tools: a deflationary semantics grounded in the inferentialist approach to linguistic practices developed by some authors, and an epistemic utility function that tries to represent the cognitive preferences of scientists. The first tool is applied to two different questions traditionally related to the problem of scientific realism: the non-miracle argument, and the continuity of reference. The second one is applied to the problem of unconceived alternatives, and to the distinction between realist and instrumentalist attitudes towards scientific hypotheses.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 74,247

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Why Quantum Theory is Possibly Wrong.Holger Lyre - 2010 - Foundations of Physics 40 (9-10):1429-1438.
What is Wrong with Husserl's Scientific Anti-Realism?Harald A. Wiltsche - 2012 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 55 (2):105-130.
Realism, Method and Truth.Howard Sankey - 2002 - In Michele Marsonet (ed.), The Problem of Realism. Aldershot: Ashgate. pp. 64-81.
How to Be Realistic About Folk Psychology.George Graham & Terence Horgan - 1988 - Philosophical Psychology 1 (1):69-81.
The Anti-Induction for Scientific Realism.Seungbae Park - 2018 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 95 (3):329-342.
Realism, Progress and the Historical Turn.Howard Sankey - 2017 - Foundations of Science 22 (1):201-214.
Darwin's Pangenesis and the Problem of Unconceived Alternatives.P. Kyle Stanford - 2006 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (1):121-144.
Realism, Anti-Realism, and the Success of Science.David Marcus Shein - 2002 - Dissertation, City University of New York
Does Scientific Realism Matter?Carl Alan Matheson - 1986 - Dissertation, Syracuse University


Added to PP

6 (#1,096,156)

6 months
1 (#415,900)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Jesus Pedro Zamora Bonilla
National Distance Education University

Citations of this work

On the Explanatory Power of Dispositional Realism.Nélida Gentile & Susana Lucero - forthcoming - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie:1-16.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references