Results for 'Scientific realism'

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  1. Scientific Realism: How Science Tracks Truth.Stathis Psillos - 1999 - Routledge.
    Scientific Realism is the optimistic view that modern science is on the right track: that the world really is the way our best scientific theories describe it to be. In his book, Stathis Psillos gives us a detailed and comprehensive study, which restores the intuitive plausibility of scientific realism. We see that throughout the twentieth century, scientific realism has been challenged by philosophical positions from all angles: from reductive empiricism, to instrumentalism and modern (...)
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  2. Scientific Realism Made Effective.Porter Williams - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (1):209-237.
    I argue that a common philosophical approach to the interpretation of physical theories—particularly quantum field theories—has led philosophers astray. It has driven many to declare the quantum field theories employed by practicing physicists, so-called ‘effective field theories’, to be unfit for philosophical interpretation. In particular, such theories have been deemed unable to support a realist interpretation. I argue that these claims are mistaken: attending to the manner in which these theories are employed in physical practice, I show that interpreting effective (...)
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  3. Scientific Realism and the Plasticity of Mind.Paul M. Churchland - 1979 - Cambridge University Press.
  4. Scientific Realism in the Wild: An Empirical Study of Seven Sciences and History and Philosophy of Science.James R. Beebe & Finnur Dellsén - 2020 - Philosophy of Science 87 (2):336-364.
    We report the results of a study that investigated the views of researchers working in seven scientific disciplines and in history and philosophy of science in regard to four hypothesized dimensions of scientific realism. Among other things, we found that natural scientists tended to express more strongly realist views than social scientists, that history and philosophy of science scholars tended to express more antirealist views than natural scientists, that van Fraassen’s characterization of scientific realism failed (...)
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  5. Scientific Realism and the Plasticity of Mind.Adam Morton - 1982 - Philosophical Review 91 (2):299.
    I assess Churchland's views on folk psychology and conceptual thinking, with particular emphasis on the connection between these topics.
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  6. Scientific Realism: An Elaboration and a Defence.Howard Sankey - 2001 - Theoria A Journal of Social and Political Theory 98 (98):35-54.
    This paper describes the position of scientific realism and presents the basic lines of argument for the position. Simply put, scientific realism is the view that the aim of science is knowledge of the truth about observable and unobservable aspects of a mind-independent, objective reality. Scientific realism is supported by several distinct lines of argument. It derives from a non-anthropocentric conception of our place in the natural world, and it is grounded in the epistemology (...)
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    Scientific Realism and Human Emancipation.Roy Bhaskar - 1986 - Routledge.
    Following on from Roy Bhaskar’s first two books, A Realist Theory of Science and The Possibility of Naturalism, Scientific Realism and Human Emancipation, establishes the conception of social science as explanatory—and thence emancipatory—critique. _Scientific Realism and Human Emancipation_ starts from an assessment of the impasse of contemporary accounts of science as stemming from an incomplete critique of positivism. It then proceeds to a systematic exposition of scientific realism in the form of transcendental realism, highlighting (...)
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  8. Scientific Realism and the Rationality of Science.Howard Sankey - 2008 - Ashgate.
    Scientific realism is the position that the aim of science is to advance on truth and increase knowledge about observable and unobservable aspects of the mind-independent world which we inhabit. This book articulates and defends that position. In presenting a clear formulation and addressing the major arguments for scientific realism Sankey appeals to philosophers beyond the community of, typically Anglo-American, analytic philosophers of science to appreciate and understand the doctrine. The book emphasizes the epistemological aspects of (...)
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  9. Critical Scientific Realism.Ilkka Niiniluoto - 1999 - Oxford University Press.
    This book comes to the rescue of scientific realism, showing that reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated. Philosophical realism holds that the aim of a particular discourse is to make true statements about its subject matter. Ilkka Niiniluoto surveys different kinds of realism in various areas of philosophy and then sets out his own critical realist philosophy of science.
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  10. Scientific Realism and the Pessimistic Meta-Modus Tollens.Timothy D. Lyons - 2002 - In Steve Clarke & Timothy D. Lyons (eds.), Recent Themes in the Philosophy of Science: Scientific Realism and Commonsense. Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 63-90.
    Broadly speaking, the contemporary scientific realist is concerned to justify belief in what we might call theoretical truth, which includes truth based on ampliative inference and truth about unobservables. Many, if not most, contemporary realists say scientific realism should be treated as ‘an overarching scientific hypothesis’ (Putnam 1978, p. 18). In its most basic form, the realist hypothesis states that theories enjoying general predictive success are true. This hypothesis becomes a hypothesis to be tested. To justify (...)
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    Scientific Realism.Anjan Chakravartty - 2011 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Debates about scientific realism are closely connected to almost everything else in the philosophy of science, for they concern the very nature of scientific knowledge. Scientific realism is a positive epistemic attitude toward the content of our best theories and models, recommending belief in both observable and unobservable aspects of the world described by the sciences. This epistemic attitude has important metaphysical and semantic dimensions, and these various commitments are contested by a number of rival (...)
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  12. Scientific Realism.Timothy D. Lyons - 2016 - In Paul Humphreys (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Science. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 564-584.
    This article endeavors to identify the strongest versions of the two primary arguments against epistemic scientific realism: the historical argument—generally dubbed “the pessimistic meta-induction”—and the argument from underdetermination. It is shown that, contrary to the literature, both can be understood as historically informed but logically validmodus tollensarguments. After specifying the question relevant to underdetermination and showing why empirical equivalence is unnecessary, two types of competitors to contemporary scientific theories are identified, both of which are informed by science (...)
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  13. Scientific Realism: What It is, the Contemporary Debate, and New Directions.Darrell Patrick Rowbottom - 2019 - Synthese 196 (2):451-484.
    First, I answer the controversial question ’What is scientific realism?’ with extensive reference to the varied accounts of the position in the literature. Second, I provide an overview of the key developments in the debate concerning scientific realism over the past decade. Third, I provide a summary of the other contributions to this special issue.
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  14. Scientific Realism.Anjan Chakravartty - 2013 - In Edward N. Zalta (ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Debates about scientific realism are closely connected to almost everything else in the philosophy of science, for they concern the very nature of scientific knowledge. Scientific realism is a positive epistemic attitude toward the content of our best theories and models, recommending belief in both observable and unobservable aspects of the world described by the sciences. This epistemic attitude has important metaphysical and semantic dimensions, and these various commitments are contested by a number of rival (...)
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  15. Scientific Realism Without the Wave-Function: An Example of Naturalized Quantum Metaphysics.Valia Allori - 2020 - In Juha Saatsi & Steven French (eds.), Scientific Realism and the Quantum. Oxford University Press.
    Scientific realism is the view that our best scientific theories can be regarded as (approximately) true. This is connected with the view that science, physics in particular, and metaphysics could (and should) inform one another: on the one hand, science tells us what the world is like, and on the other hand, metaphysical principles allow us to select between the various possible theories which are underdetermined by the data. Nonetheless, quantum mechanics has always been regarded as, at (...)
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  16. A Metaphysics for Scientific Realism: Knowing the Unobservable.Anjan Chakravartty - 2007 - Cambridge University Press.
    Scientific realism is the view that our best scientific theories give approximately true descriptions of both observable and unobservable aspects of a mind-independent world. Debates between realists and their critics are at the very heart of the philosophy of science. Anjan Chakravartty traces the contemporary evolution of realism by examining the most promising strategies adopted by its proponents in response to the forceful challenges of antirealist sceptics, resulting in a positive proposal for scientific realism (...)
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  17. Extensional Scientific Realism Vs. Intensional Scientific Realism.Seungbae Park - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 59:46-52.
    Extensional scientific realism is the view that each believable scientific theory is supported by the unique first-order evidence for it and that if we want to believe that it is true, we should rely on its unique first-order evidence. In contrast, intensional scientific realism is the view that all believable scientific theories have a common feature and that we should rely on it to determine whether a theory is believable or not. Fitzpatrick argues that (...)
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  18. Scientific Realism.Richard Boyd - 1984 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 21 (1&2):767-791.
    (i) Scientific realism is primarily a metaphysical doctrine about the existence and nature of the unobservables of science. (ii) There are good explanationist arguments for realism, most famously that from the success of science, provided abduction is allowed. Abduction seems to be on an equal footing, at least, with other ampliative methods of inference. (iii) We have no reason to believe a doctrine of empirical equivalence that would sustain the underdetermination argument against realism. (iv) The key (...)
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  19. Scientific Realism Versus Antirealism in Science Education.Seungbae Park - 2016 - Santalka: Filosofija, Komunikacija 24 (1):72-81.
    Scientific realists believe both what a scientific theory says about observables and unobservables. In contrast, scientific antirealists believe what a scientific theory says about observables, but not about unobservables. I argue that scientific realism is a more useful doctrine than scientific antirealism in science classrooms. If science teachers are antirealists, they are caught in Moore’s paradox when they help their students grasp the content of a scientific theory, and when they explain a (...)
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  20. Scientific Realism and Scientific Change.John Worrall - 1982 - Philosophical Quarterly 32 (128):201-231.
    The topic of the paper is the "realism-Instrumentalism" debate concerning the status of scientific theories. Popper's contributions to this debate are critically examined. In the first part his arguments against instrumentalism are considered; it is claimed that none strikes home against better versions of the doctrine (specifically those developed by duhem and poincare). In the second part, Various arguments against realism propounded by duhem and/or poincare (and much discussed by more recent philosophers) are evaluated. These are the (...)
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  21. Structural Realism Versus Standard Scientific Realism: The Case of Phlogiston and Dephlogisticated Air.James Ladyman - 2011 - Synthese 180 (2):87 - 101.
    The aim of this paper is to revisit the phlogiston theory to see what can be learned from it about the relationship between scientific realism, approximate truth and successful reference. It is argued that phlogiston theory did to some extent correctly describe the causal or nomological structure of the world, and that some of its central terms can be regarded as referring. However, it is concluded that the issue of whether or not theoretical terms successfully refer is not (...)
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    Scientific Realism and the 'Pessimistic Induction'.Stathis Psillos - 1996 - Philosophy of Science 63 (5):S306-S314.
    Over the last two decades, the debate over scientific realism has been dominated by two arguments that pull in contrary directions: the 'no miracle' argument and the 'pessimistic induction'. The latter suggests that the historical record destroys the realist's belief in an explanatory connection between truthlikeness and genuine empirical success. This paper analyzes the structure of the 'pessimistic induction', presents a move--the divide et impera move--that neutralizes it, and motivates a substantive yet realistic version of scientific (...). This move is also compared with Worrall's and Kitcher's recent reactions to the 'pessimistic induction'. (shrink)
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  23. Scientific Realism and the Conflict with Common Sense.Howard Sankey - 2020 - In Wenceslao J. Gonzalez (ed.), New Approaches to Scientific Realism. Berlin: De Gruyter. pp. 68-83.
    In this paper, I explore the purported conflict between science and common sense within the context of scientific realism. I argue for a version of scientific realism which retains commitment to realism about common sense rather than seeking to eliminate it.
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  24. Scientific Realism and the Stratagema de Divide Et Impera.Timothy D. Lyons - 2006 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (3):537-560.
    In response to historical challenges, advocates of a sophisticated variant of scientific realism emphasize that theoretical systems can be divided into numerous constituents. Setting aside any epistemic commitment to the systems themselves, they maintain that we can justifiably believe those specific constituents that are deployed in key successful predictions. Stathis Psillos articulates an explicit criterion for discerning exactly which theoretical constituents qualify. I critique Psillos's criterion in detail. I then test the more general deployment realist intuition against a (...)
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    Scientific Realism: Quo Vadis? Introduction: New Thinking About Scientific Realism.Stathis Psillos & Emma Ruttkamp-Bloem - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3187-3201.
    This Introduction has two foci: the first is a discussion of the motivation for and the aims of the 2014 conference on New Thinking about Scientific Realism in Cape Town South Africa, and the second is a brief contextualization of the contributed articles in this special issue of Synthese in the framework of the conference. Each focus is discussed in a separate section.
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  26. Scientific Realism and Primitive Ontology Or: The Pessimistic Induction and the Nature of the Wave Function.Valia Allori - 2018 - Lato Sensu 1 (5):69-76.
    In this paper I wish to connect the recent debate in the philosophy of quantum mechanics concerning the nature of the wave function to the historical debate in the philosophy of science regarding the tenability of scientific realism. Being realist about quantum mechanics is particularly challenging when focusing on the wave function. According to the wave function ontology approach, the wave function is a concrete physical entity. In contrast, according to an alternative viewpoint, namely the primitive ontology approach, (...)
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  27. Should Scientific Realists Embrace Theoretical Conservatism?Finnur Dellsén - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A:30-38.
    A prominent type of scientific realism holds that some important parts of our best current scientific theories are at least approximately true. According to such realists, radically distinct alternatives to these theories or theory-parts are unlikely to be approximately true. Thus one might be tempted to argue, as the prominent anti-realist Kyle Stanford recently did, that realists of this kind have little or no reason to encourage scientists to attempt to identify and develop theoretical alternatives that are (...)
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  28. Should Scientific Realists Be Platonists?Jacob Busch & Joe Morrison - 2016 - Synthese 193 (2):435-449.
    Enhanced indispensability arguments claim that Scientific Realists are committed to the existence of mathematical entities due to their reliance on Inference to the best explanation. Our central question concerns this purported parity of reasoning: do people who defend the EIA make an appropriate use of the resources of Scientific Realism to achieve platonism? We argue that just because a variety of different inferential strategies can be employed by Scientific Realists does not mean that ontological conclusions concerning (...)
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  29. Scientific Realism with Historical Essences: The Case of Species.Marion Godman - 2018 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 12):3041-3057.
    Natural kinds, real kinds, or, following J.S Mill simply, Kinds, are thought to be an important asset for scientific realists in the non-fundamental (or “special”) sciences. Essential natures are less in vogue. I show that the realist would do well to couple her Kinds with essential natures in order to strengthen their epistemic and ontological credentials. I argue that these essential natures need not however be intrinsic to the Kind’s members; they may be historical. I concentrate on assessing the (...)
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  30.  57
    Scientific Realism: An Elaboration and a Defence.Howard Sankey - 2001 - Theoria 48 (98):35-54.
    This paper describes the position of scientific realism and presents the basic lines of argument for the position. Simply put, scientific realism is the view that the aim of science is knowledge of the truth about observable and unobservable aspects of a mind-independent, objective reality. Scientific realism is supported by several distinct lines of argument. It derives from a non-anthropocentric conception of our place in the natural world, and it is grounded in the epistemology (...)
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  31. Scientific Realism Meets Metaphysics of Quantum Mechanics.Juha Saatsi - 2017 - In Philosophers Think About Quantum Theory.
    I examine the epistemological debate on scientific realism in the context of quantum physics, focusing on the empirical underdetermin- ation of different formulations and interpretations of QM. I will argue that much of the interpretational, metaphysical work on QM tran- scends the kinds of realist commitments that are well-motivated in the light of the history of science. I sketch a way of demarcating empirically well-confirmed aspects of QM from speculative quantum metaphysics in a way that coheres with anti-realist (...)
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  32. Scientific Realism and Ontological Relativity.Anjan Chakravartty - 2011 - The Monist 94 (2):157-180.
    Scientific realism has three dimensions: a metaphysical commitment to the existence of a mind-independent world; a semantic commitment to a literal interpretation of scientific claims; and an epistemological commitment to scientific knowledge of both observable and unobservable entities. The semantic dimension is uncontroversial, and the epistemological dimension, though contested, is well articulated in a number of ways. The metaphysical dimension, however, is not even well articulated. In this paper, I elaborate a plausible understanding of mind independence (...)
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  33. Reconstructing Scientific Realism to Rebut the Pessimistic Meta‐Induction.Gerald Doppelt - 2007 - Philosophy of Science 74 (1):96-118.
    This paper develops a stronger version of ‘inference-to-the-best explanation’ scientific realism. I argue against three standard assumptions of current realists: realism is confirmed if it provides the best explanation of theories’ predictive success ; the realist claim that successful theories are always approximately true provides the best explanation of their success ; and realists are committed to giving the same sort of truth-based explanation of superseded theories’ success that they give to explain our best current theories’ success. (...)
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    Best Theory Scientific Realism.Gerald Doppelt - 2014 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 4 (2):271-291.
    The aim of this essay is to argue for a new version of ‘inference-to-the-best-explanation’ scientific realism, which I characterize as Best Theory Realism or ‘BTR’. On BTR, the realist needs only to embrace a commitment to the truth or approximate truth of the best theories in a field, those which are unique in satisfying the highest standards of empirical success in a mature field with many successful but falsified predecessors. I argue that taking our best theories to (...)
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  35. Scientific Realism.J. Leplin (ed.) - 1984 - University of California.
    Introduction Jarrett Leplin Hilary Putnam seems to have inaugurated a new era of interest in realism with his declaration that realism is the ...
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  36. Scientific Realism or Irenic Instrumentalism: A Critique of Nagel and Feyerabend on Theoretical Explanation.Wilfrid Sellars - 1965 - In Robert Cohen Max Wartofsky (ed.), Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science, Vol. II,.
    Sellars argues against Nagelian instrumentalism for his version (not Feyerabend's) of scientific realism.
     
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  37. Scientific Realism and Naturalistic Epistemology.Richard Boyd - 1980 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1980:613-662.
    A realistic and dialectical conception of the epistemology of science is advanced according to which the acquisition of instrumental knowledge is parasitic upon the acquisition, by successive approximation, of theoretical knowledge. This conception is extended to provide an epistemological characterization of reference and of natural kinds, and it is integrated into recent naturalistic treatments of knowledge. Implications for several current issues in the philosophy of science are explored.
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  38. Scientific Realism and Mathematical Nominalism: A Marriage Made in Hell.Mark Colyvan - unknown
    The Quine-Putnam Indispensability argument is the argument for treating mathematical entities on a par with other theoretical entities of our best scientific theories. This argument is usually taken to be an argument for mathematical realism. In this chapter I will argue that the proper way to understand this argument is as putting pressure on the viability of the marriage of scientific realism and mathematical nominalism. Although such a marriage is a popular option amongst philosophers of science (...)
     
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  39.  1
    Scientific Realism a Critical Reappraisal.Nicholas Rescher - 1987 - Springer Verlag.
    The increasingly lively controversy over scientific realism has become one of the principal themes of recent philosophy. 1 In watching this controversy unfold in the rather technical way currently in vogue, it has seemed to me that it would be useful to view these contemporary disputes against the background of such older epistemological issues as fallibilism, scepticism, relativism, and the traditional realism/idealism debate. This, then, is the object of the present book, which will recon sider the newer (...)
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  40.  26
    A Scientific-Realist Account of Common Sense.Orly Shenker - 2020 - In Rik Peels & René Van Woudenberg (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Common-Sense Philosophy. Cambridge: pp. 333-351.
    There are good reasons to endorse scientific realism and good reasons to endorse common-sense realism. However, it has sometimes been suggested that there is a tension between the two which makes it difficult to endorse both. Can the common-sense picture of the world be reconciled with the strikingly different picture presented to us by our best confirmed theories of science? This chapter critically examines proposals for doing so, and it offers a new one, which is essentially this. (...)
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  41. A Novel Defense of Scientific Realism.Jarrett Leplin - 1997 - Oxford University Press.
    Leplin attempts to reinstate the common sense idea that theoretical knowledge is achievable, indeed that its achievement is part of the means to progress in empirical knowledge. He sketches the genesis of the skeptical position, then introduces his argument for Minimalist Scientific Realism -- the requirement that novel predicitons be explained, and the claim that only realism about scientific theories can explain the importance of novel prediction.
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  42. Scientific Realism in the Age of String Theory.Richard Dawid - 2007 - Physics and Philosophy.
    String theory currently is the only viable candidate for a unified description of all known natural forces. This article tries to demonstrate that the fundamental structural and methodological differences that set string theory apart from other physical theories have important philosophical consequences. Focussing on implications for the realism debate in philosophy of science, it is argued that both poles of that debate face new problems in the context of string theory. On the one hand, the claim of underdetermination of (...)
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  43. Scientific Realism, the Atomic Theory, and the Catch-All Hypothesis: Can We Test Fundamental Theories Against All Serious Alternatives?P. Kyle Stanford - 2009 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (2):253-269.
    Sherri Roush ([2005]) and I ([2001], [2006]) have each argued independently that the most significant challenge to scientific realism arises from our inability to consider the full range of serious alternatives to a given hypothesis we seek to test, but we diverge significantly concerning the range of cases in which this problem becomes acute. Here I argue against Roush's further suggestion that the atomic hypothesis represents a case in which scientific ingenuity has enabled us to overcome the (...)
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  44. Universals and Scientific Realism: A Theory of Universals.D. M. Armstrong - 1978 - Cambridge University Press.
    v. 1. Nominalism and realism.--v. 2. A theory of universals.
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  45. Scientific Realism and the Future Development of Science.Seungbae Park - 2019 - Diametros 60:61-71.
    Nickles (2016, 2017, forthcoming) raises many original objections against scientific realism. One of them holds that scientific realism originates from the end of history illusion. I reply that this objection is self-defeating and commits the genetic fallacy. Another objection is that it is unknowable whether our descendants will regard our current mature theories as true or false. I reply that this objection entails skepticism about induction, leading to skepticism about the world, which is inconsistent with the (...)
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  46. Scientific Realism, Scientific Practice, and the Natural Ontological Attitude.André Kukla - 1994 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 45 (4):955-975.
    Both sides in the debate about scientific realism have argued that their view provides a better account of actual scientific practice. For example, it has been claimed that the practice of theory conjunction presupposes realism, and that scientists' use of multiple and incompatible models presupposes some form of instrumentalism. Assuming that the practices of science are rational, these conclusions cannot both be right. I argue that neither of them is right, and that, in fact, all (...) practices are compatible with both realism and instrumentalism. I also repudiate van Fraassen's argument to the effect that the instrumentalist account of scientific practice is logically weaker, hence better, than the realist account. In the end, there are no scientific practice arguments on the table that support either side of the debate. It is also noted that the deficiencies of van Fraassen's argument are recapitulated in Putnam's miracle argument for realism. My pessimistic assessment of the state of the debate is reminiscent of Arthur Fine's. However, Fine's argument for the ‘natural ontological attitude’ once again repeats the problems of van Fraassen's and Putnam's arguments. (shrink)
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  47. Introduction: Scientific Realism and Commonsense.Steve Clarke & Timothy D. Lyons - 2002 - In Steve Clarke & Timothy D. Lyons (eds.), Recent Themes in the Philosophy of Science: Scientific Realism and Commonsense. Dordrecht: Springer.
  48. Scientific Realism as a Challenge to Economics (and Vice Versa).Uskali Mäki - 2011 - Journal of Economic Methodology 18 (1):1-12.
    The implications of scientific realism in regard to economics depend on what one takes scientific realism to mean and on whether one lets its contents to depend on the peculiar characteristics of the discipline of economics. Here a revisionist line is adopted and scientific realism is reduced to a minimal version that is able to accommodate as large a portion of science as possible. Among other things, characterizations of minimal realism do not require, (...)
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  49. Scientific Realism and Ontology.Uskali Mäki - 2008 - In Steven N. Durlauf & Lawrence E. Blume (eds.), The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics : volume 7 : real balances - stochastic volatility models. Palgrave-Macmillan.
    Economists customarily talk about the ‘realism’ of economic models and of their assumptions and make descriptive and prescriptive judgements about them: this model has more realism in it than that, the realism of assumptions does not matter, and so on. This is not the way philosophers mostly use the term ‘realism’ thus there is a major terminological discontinuity between the two disciplines. The following remarks organise and critically elaborate some of the philosophical usages of the term (...)
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  50. Scientific Realism and the Quantum.Steven French & Juha Saatsi (eds.) - 2020 - Oxford University Press.
    Quantum theory explains a hugely diverse array of phenomena in the history of science. But how can the world be the way quantum theory says it is? Fifteen expert scholars consider what the world is like according to quantum physics in this volume and offer illuminating new perspectives on fundamental debates that span physics and philosophy.
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