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Profile: Timothy D. Lyons (Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis)
  1.  24
    Structural Realism Versus Deployment Realism: A Comparative Evaluation.Timothy D. Lyons - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 59:95-105.
    In this paper I challenge and adjudicate between the two positions that have come to prominence in the scientific realism debate: deployment realism and structural realism. I discuss a set of cases from the history of celestial mechanics, including some of the most important successes in the history of science. To the surprise of the deployment realist, these are novel predictive successes toward which theoretical constituents that are now seen to be patently false were genuinely deployed. Exploring the implications for (...)
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  2.  47
    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 itself. With the (...)
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  3. 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 set of (...)
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  4. Explaining the Success of a Scientific Theory.Timothy D. Lyons - 2003 - Philosophy of Science 70 (5):891-901.
    Scientific realists have claimed that the posit that our theories are (approximately) true provides the best or the only explanation for their success . In response, I revive two non-realists explanations. I show that realists, in discarding them, have either misconstrued the phenomena to be explained or mischaracterized the relationship between these explanations and their own. I contend nonetheless that these non-realist competitors, as well as their realist counterparts, should be rejected; for none of them succeed in explaining a significant (...)
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  5.  68
    Epistemic Selectivity, Historical Threats, and the Non-Epistemic Tenets of Scientific Realism.Timothy D. Lyons - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3203-3219.
    The scientific realism debate has now reached an entirely new level of sophistication. Faced with increasingly focused challenges, epistemic scientific realists have appropriately revised their basic meta-hypothesis that successful scientific theories are approximately true: they have emphasized criteria that render realism far more selective and, so, plausible. As a framework for discussion, I use what I take to be the most influential current variant of selective epistemic realism, deployment realism. Toward the identification of new case studies that challenge this form (...)
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  6.  43
    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 our belief in the (...)
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  7. Toward a Purely Axiological Scientific Realism.Timothy D. Lyons - 2005 - Erkenntnis 63 (2):167-204.
    The axiological tenet of scientific realism, “science seeks true theories,” is generally taken to rest on a corollary epistemological tenet, “we can justifiably believe that our successful theories achieve (or approximate) that aim.” While important debates have centered on, and have led to the refinement of, the epistemological tenet, the axiological tenet has suffered from neglect. I offer what I consider to be needed refinements to the axiological postulate. After showing an intimate relation between the refined postulate and ten theoretical (...)
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  8.  8
    Systematicity Theory Meets Socratic Scientific Realism: The Systematic Quest for Truth.Timothy D. Lyons - forthcoming - Synthese:1-29.
    Systematicity theory—developed and articulated by Paul Hoyningen-Huene—and scientific realism constitute separate encompassing and empirical accounts of the nature of science. Standard scientific realism asserts the axiological thesis that science seeks truth and the epistemological thesis that we can justifiably believe our successful theories at least approximate that aim. By contrast, questions pertaining to truth are left “outside” systematicity theory’s “intended scope” ; the scientific realism debate is “simply not” its “focus”. However, given the continued centrality of that debate in the (...)
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  9. Non-Competitor Conditions in the Scientific Realism Debate.Timothy D. Lyons - 2009 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 23 (1):65-84.
    A general insight of 20th-century philosophy of science is that the acceptance of a scientific theory is grounded, not merely on a theory's relation to data, but on its status as having no, or being superior to its, competitors. I explore the ways in which scientific realists might be thought to utilise this insight, have in fact utilised it, and can legitimately utilise it. In more detail, I point out that, barring a natural but mistaken characterisation of scientific realism, traditional (...)
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  10.  16
    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.
  11. The Problem of Deep Competitors and the Pursuit of Epistemically Utopian Truths.Timothy D. Lyons - 2011 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 42 (2):317-338.
    According to standard scientific realism, science seeks truth and we can justifiably believe that our successful theories achieve, or at least approximate, that goal. In this paper, I discuss the implications of the following competitor thesis: Any theory we may favor has competitors such that we cannot justifiably deny that they are approximately true. After defending that thesis, I articulate three specific threats it poses for standard scientific realism; one is epistemic, the other two are axiological (that is, pertaining to (...)
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  12.  35
    Recent Themes in the Philosophy of Science: Scientific Realism and Commonsense.Steve Clarke & Timothy D. Lyons (eds.) - 2002 - Dordrecht: Springer.
  13.  48
    A Historically Informed Modus Ponens Against Scientific Realism: Articulation, Critique, and Restoration.Timothy D. Lyons - 2013 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27 (4):369-392.
    There are two primary arguments against scientific realism, one pertaining to underdetermination, the other to the history of science. While these arguments are usually treated as altogether distinct, P. Kyle Stanford's ‘problem of unconceived alternatives’ constitutes one kind of synthesis: I propose that Stanford's argument is best understood as a broad modus ponens underdetermination argument, into which he has inserted a unique variant of the historical pessimistic induction. After articulating three criticisms against Stanford's argument and the evidence that he offers, (...)
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  14. Axiological Scientific Realism and Methodological Prescription.Timothy D. Lyons - 2012 - In Henk W. de Regt (ed.), Epsa Philosophy of Science: Amsterdam 2009. Springer. pp. 187--197.
    In this paper I distinguish between two kinds of meta-hypotheses, or hypotheses about science, at issue in the scientific realism debate. The first are descriptive empirical hypotheses regarding the nature of scientific inquiry. The second are epistemological theories about what individuals should / can justifiably believe about scientific theories. Favoring the realist Type-D meta-hypotheses, I argue that a particular set of realist and non-realist efforts in the debate over Type-E’s have been valuable in the quest to describe and understand the (...)
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  15.  56
    Criteria for Attributing Predictive Responsibility in the Scientific Realism Debate: Deployment, Essentiality, Belief, Retention ….Timothy D. Lyons - 2009 - Human Affairs 19 (2).
    The most promising contemporary form of epistemic scientific realism is based on the following intuition: Belief should be directed, not toward theories as wholes, but toward particular theoretical constituents that are responsible for, or deployed in, key successes. While the debate on deployment realism is quite fresh, a significant degree of confusion has already entered into it. Here I identify five criteria that have sidetracked that debate. Setting these distractions aside, I endeavor to redirect the attention of both realists and (...)
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  16. Inference to the Best Explanation, by Peter Lipton. [REVIEW]Timothy D. Lyons - 2006 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (1):255-258.
  17. Peter Lipton.Timothy D. Lyons - 2006 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (1):255-258.
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