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  1. added 2019-02-22
    An Absurd Consequence of Stanford’s New Induction Over the History of Science: A Reply to Sterpetti.Moti Mizrahi - forthcoming - Axiomathes:1-13.
    In this paper, I respond to Fabio Sterpetti’s (2018) attempt to defend Kyle P. Stanford’s Problem of Unconceived Alternatives (PUA) and his New Induction over the History of Science (NIS) from my reductio argument outlined in Mizrahi (2016a). I discuss what I take to be the ways in which Sterpetti has misconstrued my argument against Stanford’s NIS, in particular, that it is a reductio, not a dilemma, as Sterpetti erroneously thinks. I argue that antirealists who endorse Stanford’s NIS still face (...)
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  2. added 2019-01-17
    Localism Vs. Individualism for the Scientific Realism Debate.Seungbae Park - 2019 - Philosophical Papers:1-19.
    Localism is the view that the unit of evaluation in the scientific realism debate is a single scientific discipline, sub-discipline, or claim, whereas individualism is the view that the unit of evaluation is a single scientific theory. Localism is compatible, while individualism is not, with a local pessimistic induction and a local selective induction. Asay (2016) presents several arguments to support localism and undercut globalism, according to which the unit of evaluation is the set of all scientific disciplines. I argue (...)
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  3. added 2018-12-18
    Scientific Realism and the Future Development of Science.Seungbae Park - 2019 - Diametros: An Online Journal of Philosophy.
    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 appeal to the end (...)
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  4. added 2018-04-30
    Building on Sellars: Concept Formation and Scientific Realism. [REVIEW]Tanya Kelley - 2008 - Metascience 17 (2):257-259.
    Harold Brown has written an ambitious work, which traces the formation of concepts in individuals and cultures, examines case studies of concepts in calculus, mathematics, biology and related fields, summarises important philosophical works on the theory of concepts, and seeks to reconcile scientific realism with conceptual change. Brown considers himself a scientific realist but concedes that this very label is one that depends on a long history of concepts that came before, and may indeed be superseded as conceptual change continues. (...)
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  5. added 2018-03-20
    Optimistic Realism Over Selectivism.Seungbae Park - 2018 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy.
    Selectivism holds that some theoretical contents of most present theories will be preserved in future theories. By contrast, optimistic realism holds that most theoretical contents of most present theories will be preserved in future theories. I construct a pessimistic induction over selectivists to undermine selectivism, and an optimistic induction over optimistic realists to support optimistic realism. The former holds that since the selectivists of the early twentieth century were overly cautious about their present theories, those of the early twenty-first century (...)
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  6. added 2018-03-03
    In Defense of the Epistemic Imperative.Seungbae Park - 2018 - Axiomathes 28 (4):435-446.
    Sample (2015) argues that scientists ought not to believe that their theories are true because they cannot fulfill the epistemic obligation to take the diachronic perspective on their theories. I reply that Sample’s argument imposes an inordinately heavy epistemic obligation on scientists, and that it spells doom not only for scientific theories but also for observational beliefs and philosophical ideas that Samples endorses. I also delineate what I take to be a reasonable epistemic obligation for scientists. In sum, philosophers ought (...)
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  7. added 2017-11-01
    The Anti-Induction for Scientific Realism.Seungbae Park - 2018 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 95 (3):329-342.
    In contemporary philosophy of science, the no-miracles argument and the pessimistic induction are regarded as the strongest arguments for and against scientific realism, respectively. In this paper, I construct a new argument for scientific realism which I call the anti-induction for scientific realism. It holds that, since past theories were false, present theories are true. I provide an example from the history of science to show that anti-inductions sometimes work in science. The anti-induction for scientific realism has several advantages over (...)
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  8. added 2017-10-31
    Newman’s Objection and the No Miracles Argument.Robert Smithson - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (5):993-1014.
    Structural realists claim that we should endorse only what our scientific theories say about the structure of the unobservable world. But according to Newman’s Objection, the structural realist’s claims about unobservables are trivially true. In recent years, several theorists have offered responses to Newman’s Objection. But a common complaint is that these responses “give up the spirit” of the structural realist position. In this paper, I will argue that the simplest way to respond to Newman’s Objection is to return to (...)
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  9. added 2017-10-24
    Critiques of Minimal Realism.Seungbae Park - 2017 - Problemos 92:102-114.
    Saatsi’s minimal realism holds that science makes theoretical progress. It is designed to get around the pessimistic induction, to fall between scientific realism and instrumentalism, and to explain the success of scientific theories. I raise the following two objections to it. First, it is not clear whether minimal realism lies between realism and instrumentalism, given that minimal realism does not entail instrumentalism. Second, it is not clear whether minimal realism can explain the success of scientific theories, given that it is (...)
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  10. added 2017-10-18
    The Problem of Unobserved Anomalies.Seungbae Park - 2018 - Filosofija. Sociologija 29 (1):4-12.
    Scientific antirealism, the view that successful theories are empirically adequate, is untenable in light of the problem of unobserved anomalies that since past scientists could not observe the anomalies that caused the replacement of past theories with present theories, present scientists also cannot observe the anomalies that will cause the replacement of present theories with future theories. There are several moves that antirealists would be tempted to make to get around the problem of unobserved anomalies. All of them, however, are (...)
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  11. added 2017-10-05
    Rejecting Mathematical Realism While Accepting Interactive Realism.Seungbae Park - 2018 - Analysis and Metaphysics 17:7-21.
    Indispensablists contend that accepting scientific realism while rejecting mathematical realism involves a double standard. I refute this contention by developing an enhanced version of scientific realism, which I call interactive realism. It holds that interactively successful theories are typically approximately true, and that the interactive unobservable entities posited by them are likely to exist. It is immune to the pessimistic induction while mathematical realism is susceptible to it.
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  12. added 2017-09-14
    Nowa indukcja a nowy realizm.Mateusz Kotowski - 2015 - Filo-Sofija 29:65-78.
    P. Kyle Stanford formulated his New Induction over the History of Science in order to show that underdetermination of scientific theories by evidence is a genuine problem of scientific theorizing about the world and a one that all scientific realists should take seriously. His argument uses historical record to show that because successful theories of the past were typically, in the light of the then available evidence, underdetermined by theories which we could not at the time conceive, we should expect (...)
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  13. added 2017-08-16
    The Grand Pessimistic Induction.Seungbae Park - 2018 - Review of Contemporary Philosophy 17:7-19.
    After decades of intense debate over the old pessimistic induction (Laudan, 1977; Putnam, 1978), it has now become clear that it has at least the following four problems. First, it overlooks the fact that present theories are more successful than past theories. Second, it commits the fallacy of biased statistics. Third, it erroneously groups together past theories from different fields of science. Four, it misses the fact that some theoretical components of past theories were preserved. I argue that these four (...)
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  14. added 2017-08-02
    Should Scientists Embrace Scientific Realism or Antirealism?Seungbae Park - 2019 - Philosophical Forum 50 (1):147-158.
    If scientists embrace scientific realism, they can use a scientific theory to explain and predict observables and unobservables. If, however, they embrace scientific antirealism, they cannot use a scientific theory to explain observables and unobservables, and cannot use a scientific theory to predict unobservables. Given that explanation and prediction are means to make scientific progress, scientists can make more scientific progress, if they embrace scientific realism than if they embrace scientific antirealism.
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  15. added 2017-07-13
    The Unificatory Power of Scientific Realism.Seungbae Park - 2017 - Disputatio 9 (44):59–73.
    The no-miracles argument (Putnam, 1975) holds that science is successful because successful theories are (approximately) true. Frost-Arnold (2010) objects that this argument is unacceptable because it generates neither new predictions nor unifications. It is similar to the unacceptable explanation that opium puts people to sleep because it has a dormative virtue. I reply that on close examination, realism explains not only why some theories are successful but also why successful theories exist in current science. Therefore, it unifies the disparate phenomena.
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  16. added 2017-06-29
    Realism, Progress and the Historical Turn.Howard Sankey - 2017 - Foundations of Science 22 (1):201-214.
    The contemporary debate between scientific realism and anti-realism is conditioned by a polarity between two opposing arguments: the realist’s success argument and the anti-realist’s pessimistic induction. This polarity has skewed the debate away from the problem that lies at the source of the debate. From a realist point of view, the historical approach to the philosophy of science which came to the fore in the 1960s gave rise to an unsatisfactory conception of scientific progress. One of the main motivations for (...)
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  17. added 2017-04-19
    Justifying the Special Theory of Relativity with Unconceived Methods.Park Seungbae - 2018 - Axiomathes 28 (1):53-62.
    Many realists argue that present scientific theories will not follow the fate of past scientific theories because the former are more successful than the latter. Critics object that realists need to show that present theories have reached the level of success that warrants their truth. I reply that the special theory of relativity has been repeatedly reinforced by unconceived scientific methods, so it will be reinforced by infinitely many unconceived scientific methods. This argument for the special theory of relativity overcomes (...)
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  18. added 2017-04-12
    On Treating Past and Present Scientific Theories Differently.Seungbae Park - 2017 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 31 (1):63-76.
    Scientific realists argue that present theories are more successful than past theories, so present theories will not be superseded by alternatives, even though past theories were superseded by alternatives. Alai (2016) objects that although present theories are more successful than past theories, they will be replaced by future theories, just as past theories were replaced by present theories. He contends, however, that past theories were partly true, and that present theories are largely true. I argue that Alai’s discrimination between past (...)
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  19. added 2017-03-14
    The History of Science as a Graveyard of Theories: A Philosophers’ Myth?Moti Mizrahi - 2016 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 30 (3):263-278.
    According to the antirealist argument known as the pessimistic induction, the history of science is a graveyard of dead scientific theories and abandoned theoretical posits. Support for this pessimistic picture of the history of science usually comes from a few case histories, such as the demise of the phlogiston theory and the abandonment of caloric as the substance of heat. In this article, I wish to take a new approach to examining the ‘history of science as a graveyard of theories’ (...)
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  20. added 2017-01-29
    Extending the Argument From Unconceived Alternatives: Observations, Models, Predictions, Explanations, Methods, Instruments, Experiments, and Values.Darrell Patrick Rowbottom - 2016 - Synthese.
    Stanford’s argument against scientific realism focuses on theories, just as many earlier arguments from inconceivability have. However, there are possible arguments against scientific realism involving unconceived (or inconceivable) entities of different types: observations, models, predictions, explanations, methods, instruments, experiments, and values. This paper charts such arguments. In combination, they present the strongest challenge yet to scientific realism.
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  21. added 2017-01-27
    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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  22. added 2017-01-26
    What's New About the New Induction?P. D. Magnus - 2006 - Synthese 148 (2):295-301.
    The problem of underdetermination is thought to hold important lessons for philosophy of science. Yet, as Kyle Stanford has recently argued, typical treatments of it offer only restatements of familiar philosophical problems. Following suggestions in Duhem and Sklar, Stanford calls for a New Induction from the history of science. It will provide proof, he thinks, of "the kind of underdetermination that the history of science reveals to be a distinctive and genuine threat to even our best scientific theories" . This (...)
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  23. added 2017-01-23
    Re-Enchanting Realism in Debate with Kyle Stanford.Emma Ruttkamp-Bloem - 2013 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 44 (1):201-224.
    In this article, against the background of a notion of ‘assembled’ truth, the evolutionary progressiveness of a theory is suggested as novel and promising explanation for the success of science. A new version of realism in science, referred to as ‘naturalised realism’ is outlined. Naturalised realism is ‘fallibilist’ in the unique sense that it captures and mimics the self-corrective core of scientific knowledge and its progress. It is argued that naturalised realism disarms Kyle Stanford’s anti-realist ‘new induction’ threats by showing (...)
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  24. added 2017-01-17
    Should a Historically Motivated Anti-Realist Be a Stanfordite?Greg Frost-Arnold - 2014 - Synthese:1-17.
    Suppose one believes that the historical record of discarded scientific theories provides good evidence against scientific realism. Should one adopt Kyle Stanford’s specific version of this view, based on the Problem of Unconceived Alternatives? I present reasons for answering this question in the negative. In particular, Stanford’s challenge cannot use many of the prima facie strongest pieces of historical evidence against realism, namely: superseded theories whose successors were explicitly conceived, and superseded theories that were not the result of elimination-of-alternatives inferences. (...)
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  25. added 2017-01-15
    Stanford’s Unconceived Alternatives From the Perspective of Epistemic Obligations.Matthew S. Sample - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (5):856-866.
    Kyle Stanford’s reformulation of the problem of underdetermination has the potential to highlight the epistemic obligations of scientists. Stanford, however, presents the phenomenon of unconceived alternatives as a problem for realists, despite critics’ insistence that we have contextual explanations for scientists’ failure to conceive of their successors’ theories. I propose that responsibilist epistemology and the concept of “role oughts,” as discussed by Lorraine Code and Richard Feldman, can pacify Stanford’s critics and reveal broader relevance of the “new induction.” The possibility (...)
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  26. added 2017-01-14
    Should a Historically Motivated Anti-Realist Be a Stanfordite?Greg Frost-Arnold - forthcoming - Synthese 196 (2):535-551.
    Suppose one believes that the historical record of discarded scientific theories provides good evidence against scientific realism. Should one adopt Kyle Stanford’s specific version of this view, based on the Problem of Unconceived Alternatives? I present reasons for answering this question in the negative. In particular, Stanford’s challenge cannot use many of the prima facie strongest pieces of historical evidence against realism, namely: superseded theories whose successors were explicitly conceived, and superseded theories that were not the result of elimination-of-alternatives inferences. (...)
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  27. added 2017-01-10
    Scientific Antirealists Have Set Fire to Their Own Houses.Seungbae Park - 2017 - Prolegomena 16 (1):23-37.
    Scientific antirealists run the argument from underconsideration against scientific realism. I argue that the argument from underconsideration backfires on antirealists’ positive philosophical theories, such as the contextual theory of explanation (van Fraassen, 1980), the English model of rationality (van Fraassen, 1989), the evolutionary explanation of the success of science (Wray, 2008; 2012), and explanatory idealism (Khalifa, 2013). Antirealists strengthen the argument from underconsideration with the pessimistic induction against current scientific theories. In response, I construct a pessimistic induction against antirealists that (...)
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  28. added 2016-08-01
    How to Foster Scientists' Creativity.Seungbae Park - 2016 - Creativity Studies 9 (2):117-126.
    Scientific progress can be credited to creative scientists, who constantly ideate new theories and experiments. I explore how the three central positions in philosophy of science – scientific realism, scientific pessimism, and instrumentalism – are related to the practical issue of how scientists’ creativity can be fostered. I argue that realism encourages scientists to entertain new theories and experiments, pessimism discourages them from doing so, and instrumentalism falls in between realism and pessimism in terms of its effects on scientists’ creativity. (...)
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  29. added 2016-07-05
    The Uniformity Principle Vs. The Disuniformity Principle.Seungbae Park - 2017 - Acta Analytica 32 (2):213-222.
    The pessimistic induction is built upon the uniformity principle that the future resembles the past. In daily scientific activities, however, scientists sometimes rely on what I call the disuniformity principle that the future differs from the past. They do not give up their research projects despite the repeated failures. They believe that they will succeed although they failed repeatedly, and as a result they achieve what they intended to achieve. Given that the disuniformity principle is useful in certain cases in (...)
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  30. added 2016-06-07
    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 extensional realism is immune, while intensional (...)
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  31. added 2016-06-05
    Refutations of the Two Pessimistic Inductions.Seungbae Park - 2016 - Philosophia 44 (3):835-844.
    Both the pessimistic inductions over scientific theories and over scientists are built upon what I call proportional pessimism: as theories are discarded, the inductive rationale for concluding that the next theories will be discarded grows stronger. I argue that proportional pessimism clashes with the fact that present theories are more successful than past theories, and with the implications of the assumptions that there are finitely and infinitely many unconceived alternatives. Therefore, the two pessimistic inductions collapse along with proportional pessimism.
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  32. added 2016-03-18
    Going Local: A Defense of Methodological Localism About Scientific Realism.Jamin Asay - 2019 - Synthese 196 (2):587-609.
    Scientific realism and anti-realism are most frequently discussed as global theses: theses that apply equally well across the board to all the various sciences. Against this status quo I defend the localist alternative, a methodological stance on scientific realism that approaches debates on realism at the level of individual sciences, rather than at science itself. After identifying the localist view, I provide a number of arguments in its defense, drawing on the diversity and disunity found in the sciences, as well (...)
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  33. added 2016-03-08
    Historical Inductions, Old and New.Juha Saatsi - 2015 - Synthese:1-15.
    I review prominent historical arguments against scientific realism to indicate how they display a systematic overshooting in the conclusions drawn from the historical evidence. The root of the overshooting can be located in some critical, undue presuppositions regarding realism. I will highlight these presuppositions in connection with both Laudan’s ‘Old induction’ and Stanford’s New induction, and then delineate a minimal realist view that does without the problematic presuppositions.
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  34. added 2016-03-02
    Realism and the Absence of Rivals.Finnur Dellsén - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2427-2446.
    Among the most serious challenges to scientific realism are arguments for the underdetermination of theory by evidence. This paper defends a version of scientific realism against what is perhaps the most influential recent argument of this sort, viz. Kyle Stanford’s New Induction over the History of Science. An essential part of the defense consists in a probabilistic analysis of the slogan “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”. On this basis it is argued that the likelihood of a theory (...)
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  35. added 2016-02-14
    Why Should We Be Pessimistic About Antirealists and Pessimists?Seungbae Park - 2017 - Foundations of Science 22 (3):613-625.
    The pessimistic induction over scientific theories holds that present theories will be overthrown as were past theories. The pessimistic induction over scientists holds that present scientists cannot conceive of future theories just as past scientists could not conceive of present theories. The pessimistic induction over realists :4321–4330, 2013) holds that present realists are wrong about present theories just as past realists were wrong about past theories. The pessimistic induction over antirealist theories :3–21, 2014) holds that the latest antirealist explanation of (...)
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  36. added 2015-11-13
    A Reply to James Marcum’s “What’s the Support for Kuhn’s Incommensurability Thesis?”.Moti Mizrahi - 2015 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 4 (11):21-24.
    I reply to James Marcum’s “What’s the Support for Kuhn’s Incommensurability Thesis? A Response to Mizrahi and Patton”.
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  37. added 2015-11-13
    Historical Inductions: New Cherries, Same Old Cherry-Picking.Moti Mizrahi - 2015 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 29 (2):129-148.
    In this article, I argue that arguments from the history of science against scientific realism, like the arguments advanced by P. Kyle Stanford and Peter Vickers, are fallacious. The so-called Old Induction, like Vickers's, and New Induction, like Stanford's, are both guilty of confirmation bias—specifically, of cherry-picking evidence that allegedly challenges scientific realism while ignoring evidence to the contrary. I also show that the historical episodes that Stanford adduces in support of his New Induction are indeterminate between a pessimistic and (...)
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  38. added 2015-05-25
    Realism Versus Surrealism.Seungbae Park - 2016 - Foundations of Science 21 (4):603-614.
    Realism and surrealism claim, respectively, that a scientific theory is successful because it is true, and because the world operates as if it is true. Lyons :891–901, 2003) criticizes realism and argues that surrealism is superior to realism. I reply that Lyons’s criticisms against realism fail. I also attempt to establish the following two claims: Realism and surrealism lead to a useful prescription and a useless prescription, respectively, on how to make an unsuccessful theory successful. Realism and surrealism give the (...)
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  39. added 2015-05-15
    Historical Inductions, Unconceived Alternatives, and Unconceived Objections.Moti Mizrahi - 2016 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 47 (1):59-68.
    In this paper, I outline a reductio against Stanford’s “New Induction” on the History of Science, which is an inductive argument against scientific realism that is based on what Stanford (2006) calls “the Problem of Unconceived Alternatives” (PUA). From the supposition that Stanford’s New Induction on the History of Science is cogent, and the parallel New Induction on the History of Philosophy (Mizrahi 2014), it follows that scientific antirealism is not worthy of belief. I also show that denying a key (...)
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  40. added 2015-01-07
    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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  41. added 2014-12-27
    Global and Local Pessimistic Meta-Inductions.Samuel Ruhmkorff - 2013 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27 (4):409-428.
    The global pessimistic meta-induction argues from the falsity of scientific theories accepted in the past to the likely falsity of currently accepted scientific theories. I contend that this argument commits a statistical error previously unmentioned in the literature and is self-undermining. I then compare the global pessimistic meta-induction to a local pessimistic meta-induction based on recent negative assessments of the reliability of medical research. If there is any future in drawing pessimistic conclusions from the history of science, it lies in (...)
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  42. added 2014-03-28
    A Pessimistic Induction Against Scientific Antirealism.Seungbae Park - 2014 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 21 (1):3-21.
    There are nine antirealist explanations of the success of science in the literature. I raise difficulties against all of them except the latest one, and then construct a pessimistic induction that the latest one will turn out to be problematic because its eight forerunners turned out to be problematic. This pessimistic induction is on a par with the traditional pessimistic induction that successful present scientific theories will be revealed to be false because successful past scientific theories were revealed to be (...)
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  43. added 2014-03-04
    A Confutation of the Pessimistic Induction.Seungbae Park - 2011 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 42 (1):75-84.
    The pessimistic induction holds that successful past scientific theories are completely false, so successful current ones are completely false too. I object that past science did not perform as poorly as the pessimistic induction depicts. A close study of the history of science entitles us to construct an optimistic induction that would neutralize the pessimistic induction. Also, even if past theories were completely false, it does not even inductively follow that the current theories will also turn out to be completely (...)
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  44. added 2014-03-04
    Coherence of Our Best Scientific Theories.Seungbae Park - 2011 - Foundations of Science 16 (1):21-30.
    Putnam (1975) infers from the success of a scientific theory to its approximate truth and the reference of its key term. Laudan (1981) objects that some past theories were successful, and yet their key terms did not refer, so they were not even approximately true. Kitcher (1993) replies that the past theories are approximately true because their working posits are true, although their idle posits are false. In contrast, I argue that successful theories which cohere with each other are approximately (...)
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  45. added 2013-10-04
    On the Evolutionary Defense of Scientific Antirealism.Seungbae Park - 2014 - Axiomathes 24 (2):263-273.
    Van Fraassen (1980) claims that successful theories exist today because successful theories survive and unsuccessful ones die. Wray (2007, 2010) appeals to Stanford’s new pessimistic induction (2006), arguing that van Fraassen’s selectionist explanation is better than the realist explanation that successful theories exist because they are approximately true. I argue that if the pessimistic induction is correct, then the evolutionary explanation is neither true nor empirically adequate, and that realism is better than selectionism because realism explains more phenomena in science (...)
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  46. added 2013-06-17
    Approximate Truth Vs. Empirical Adequacy.Seungbae Park - 2014 - Epistemologia 37 (1):106-118.
    Suppose that scientific realists believe that a successful theory is approximately true, and that constructive empiricists believe that it is empirically adequate. Whose belief is more likely to be false? The problem of underdetermination does not yield an answer to this question one way or the other, but the pessimistic induction does. The pessimistic induction, if correct, indicates that successful theories, both past and current, are empirically inadequate. It is arguable, however, that they are approximately true. Therefore, scientific realists overall (...)
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  47. added 2011-06-01
    Inductions, Red Herrings, and the Best Explanation for the Mixed Record of Science.P. D. Magnus - 2010 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (4):803-819.
    Kyle Stanford has recently claimed to offer a new challenge to scientific realism. Taking his inspiration from the familiar Pessimistic Induction (PI), Stanford proposes a New Induction (NI). Contra Anjan Chakravartty’s suggestion that the NI is a ‘red herring’, I argue that it reveals something deep and important about science. The Problem of Unconceived Alternatives, which lies at the heart of the NI, yields a richer anti-realism than the PI. It explains why science falls short when it falls short, and (...)
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  48. added 2009-05-24
    Miracles, Pessimism and Scientific Realism.John Worrall - unknown
    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 (...)
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