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  1. Giere's Scientific Perspectivism as Carte Blanche Realism.Mario Gensollen & Marc Jiménez-Rolland - 2021 - ArtefaCToS. Revista de Estudios de la Ciencia y la Tecnología 10 (1):61-74.
    In this paper we explore Ronald N. Giere’s contributions to the scientific realism debate. After outlining some of his general views on the philosophy of science, we locate his contributions within the traditional scientific realism debate. We argue that Giere’s scientific perspectivism is best seen as a form of carte blanche realism, that is: a view according to which science is a practice aiming at truth, and can warrantably claim to have attained it, to a certain degree; however, it does (...)
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  2. The Relativity of Theory by Moti Mizrahi: Pandemics and Pathogens: What’s at Stake in the Debate Over Scientific Realism? [REVIEW]Margaret Greta Turnbull - forthcoming - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A.
    I provide a critical review of Moti Mizrahi's The Relativity of Theory, expounding on the book's strengths and then providing an extended argument that Mizrahi mischaracterizes the epistemic attitude of concern to antirealism about science as well as the practical stakes involved in adopting the antirealist position.
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  3. Internal Perspectivalism: The Solution to Generality Problems About Proper Function and Natural Norms.Jason Winning - 2020 - Biology and Philosophy 35 (33):1-22.
    In this paper, I argue that what counts as the proper function of a trait is a matter of the de facto perspective that the biological system, itself, possesses on what counts as proper functioning for that trait. Unlike non-perspectival accounts, internal perspectivalism does not succumb to generality problems. But unlike external perspectivalism, internal perspectivalism can provide a fully naturalistic, mind-independent grounding of proper function and natural norms. The attribution of perspectives to biological systems is intended to be neither metaphorical (...)
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  4. Vérité partielle et réalisme scientifique: une approche bungéenne.Jean-Pierre Marquis - 2020 - Mεtascience 1:293-314.
    Le réalisme scientifique occupe une place centrale dans le système philosophique de Mario Bunge. Au cœur de cette thèse, on trouve l’affirmation selon laquelle nous pouvons connaître le monde partiellement. Il s’ensuit que les théories scientifiques ne sont pas totalement vraies ou totalement fausses, mais plutôt partiellement vraies et partiellement fausses. Ces énoncés sur la connaissance scientifique, à première vue plausible pour quiconque est familier avec la pratique scientifique, demandent néanmoins à être clarifiés, précisés et, ultimement, à être inclus dans (...)
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  5. The Objectivity of Science.Howard Sankey - forthcoming - In Juan Carlos Aguirre-Garcia (ed.), Objectivity in Human Sciences.
    The notion of objectivity is ambiguous. A distinction is made between three primary notions of objectivity: ontological objectivity, the objectivity of truth and epistemic objectivity. It is suggested that a realist may explain the relationship between the three notions by saying that use of epistemically objective methods stands the best chance of leading to the objective truth about the objective world.
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  6. Juha Saatsi, Ed., "The Routledge Handbook of Scientific Realism.". [REVIEW]Jan Arreman - 2019 - Philosophy in Review 39 (2):103-104.
    Review of The Routledge Handbook of Scientific Realism by Juha Saatsi (ed.).
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  7. Comment on Scientific Objectivity with a Human Face by Professor Holm Tetens.Howard Sankey - 2004 - In Martin Carrier, J. Roggenhoffer, G. Kuppers & Ph Blanchard (eds.), Knowledge and the World: Challenges Beyond the Science Wars. Berlin Heidelberg New York: Springer-Verlag. pp. 95-98.
    This is a comment on Professor Holm Tetens' paper, 'Scientific Objectivity with a Human Face'.
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  8. A Less Than Direct Connection Indeed: Reply to Jakowljewitsch.Howard Sankey - 2006 - Divinatio 24:157-168.
    This is a response to Dragan Jakowljewitsch's 'The Successes of Science and Scientific-Theoretical Realism: A Less Than Direct Connection'.
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  9. Mind-Dependent Kinds.Khalidi Muhammad Ali - 2016 - Journal of Social Ontology 2 (2):223-246.
    Many philosophers take mind-independence to be criterial for realism about kinds. This is problematic when it comes to psychological and social kinds, which are unavoidably mind-dependent. But reflection on the case of artificial or synthetic kinds shows that the criterion of mind-independence needs to be qualified in certain ways. However, I argue that none of the usual variants on the criterion of mind-dependence is capable of distinguishing real or natural kinds from non-real kinds. Although there is a way of modifying (...)
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  10. Role-Player Realism.Paul Teller - manuscript
    In practice theoretical terms are open-ended in not being attached to anything completely specific. This raises a problem for scientific realism: If there is no one completely specific kind of thing that might be in the extension of “atom”, what is it to claim that atoms exist? A realist’s solution is to say that in theoretical contexts of mature atom-theories there are things that play the role of atoms as characterized in that theory-context. The paper closes with a laundry list (...)
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  11. Role-Player Realism.Paul Teller - 2016
    In practice theoretical terms are open-ended in not being attached to anything completely specific. This raises a problem for scientific realism: If there is no one completely specific kind of thing that might be in the extension of “atom”, what is it to claim that atoms exist? A realist’s solution is to say that in theoretical contexts of mature atom-theories there are things that play the role of atoms as characterized in that theory-context. The paper closes with a laundry list (...)
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  12. Interactive Realism.Emma Ruttkamp - 2011 - South African Journal of Philosophy 30 (1):41-52.
    I investigate a new understanding of realism in science, referred to as ‘interactive realism’, and I suggest the ‘evolutionary progressiveness’ of a theory as novel criterion for this kind of realism. My basic claim is that we cannot be realists about anything except the progress affected by myriad science-reality interactions that are constantly moving on a continuum of increased ‘fitness’ determined according to empirical constraints. Moreover to reflect this movement accurately, there is a corresponding continuum of verdicts about the status (...)
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  13. Form-Driven Vs. Content-Driven Arguments for Realism.Juha Saatsi - 2010 - In P. D. Magnus & Jacob Busch (eds.), New Waves in Philosophy of Science. Palgrave-Macmillan.
    I offer a meta-level analysis of realist arguments for the reliability of ampliative reasoning about the unobservable. We can distinguish form-driven and content-driven arguments for realism: form-driven arguments appeal to the form of inductive inferences, whilst content-driven arguments appeal to their specific content. After regimenting the realism debate in these terms, I will argue that the content-driven arguments are preferable. Along the way I will discuss how my analysis relates to John Norton’s recent, more general thesis that the grounds for (...)
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Standard Scientific Realism
  1. The Relativity of Theory by Moti Mizrahi: Reply by the Author.Moti Mizrahi - forthcoming - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A.
    I’m grateful to Aleta Quinn and Studies in History and Philosophy of Science for hosting this book forum for my book, The Relativity of Theory (Springer, 2020). I’m also grateful to Margaret Greta Turnbull and Joseph Martin for their commentaries. In what follows, I address their comments as I understand them.
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  2. Massimo Dell'Utri, Putnam, Carocci 2020. [REVIEW]Pietro Salis - 2021 - Aphex 23.
    The recent book Putnam by Massimo Dell’Utri concerns the philosophical and argumentative journey of Hilary Putnam, that led him to explore the implications of Quine’s views about analyticity and the many ways in which realism can be understood in epistemology, philosophy of science, philosophy of mathematics, its main entailments for the philosophy of mind, and more recently about issues concerning ethics, meta-ethics, and value-theory. The present critical review briefly recollects the reading presented in the book, and then highlights some of (...)
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  3. A Methodological Argument Against Scientific Realism.Darrell P. Rowbottom - 2019 - Synthese 198 (3):2153-2167.
    First, I identify a methodological thesis associated with scientific realism. This has different variants, but each concerns the reliability of scientific methods in connection with acquiring, or approaching, truth or approximate truth. Second, I show how this thesis bears on what scientists should do when considering new theories that significantly contradict older theories. Third, I explore how vulnerable scientific realism is to a reductio ad absurdum as a result. Finally, I consider which variants of the methodological thesis are the most (...)
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  4. Realism Without Limits.Howard Sankey - 2004 - Divinatio 20:145-165.
    This is a sequel to my paper, ‘What is Scientific Realism?’, which appeared in an earlier issue of this journal (Sankey, 2000a). A number of papers by other authors on topics relating to scientific realism have followed in subsequent issues. In this paper I revisit some of the themes developed in my earlier paper in the light of these later papers. I begin by restating the key ideas of the earlier paper. Next, I mention a number of afterthoughts which I (...)
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  5. From the End of Unitary Science Projection to the Causally Complete Complexity Science: Extended Mathematics, Solved Problems, New Organisation and Superior Purposes.Andrei P. Kirilyuk - 2017 - In A. P. Kirilyuk, Theory of Everything, Ultimate Reality and the End of Humanity: Extended Sustainability by the Universal Science of Complexity. Beau Bassin: LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing. pp. 199-209.
    The deep crisis in modern fundamental science development is ever more evident and openly recognised now even by mainstream, official science professionals and leaders. By no coincidence, it occurs in parallel to the world civilisation crisis and related global change processes, where the true power of unreduced scientific knowledge is just badly missing as the indispensable and unique tool for the emerging greater problem solution and further progress at a superior level of complex world dynamics. Here we reveal the mathematically (...)
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  6. To Be a Realist About Quantum Theory.Hans Halvorson - 2019 - In Olimpia Lombardi (ed.), Quantum Worlds: Perspectives on the Ontology of Quantum Mechanics.
    I look at the distinction between between realist and antirealist views of the quantum state. I argue that this binary classification should be reconceived as a continuum of different views about which properties of the quantum state are representationally significant. What's more, the extreme cases -- all or none --- are simply absurd, and should be rejected by all parties. In other words, no sane person should advocate extreme realism or antirealism about the quantum state. And if we focus on (...)
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  7. Topos Theoretic Quantum Realism.Benjamin Eva - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (4):1149-1181.
    ABSTRACT Topos quantum theory is standardly portrayed as a kind of ‘neo-realist’ reformulation of quantum mechanics.1 1 In this article, I study the extent to which TQT can really be characterized as a realist formulation of the theory, and examine the question of whether the kind of realism that is provided by TQT satisfies the philosophical motivations that are usually associated with the search for a realist reformulation of quantum theory. Specifically, I show that the notion of the quantum state (...)
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  8. 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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  9. Subject and Object in Scientific Realism.Howard Sankey - 2017 - In Paula Angelova, Jassen Andreev & Emil Lensky (eds.), Das Interpretative Universum. Wurzburg, Germany: Konigshausen & Neumann. pp. 293-306.
    In this paper, I explore the relationship between the subject and the object from the perspective of scientific realism.
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  10. 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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  11. 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, the wave (...)
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  12. 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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  13. Models, Idealisations, and Realism.Juha Saatsi - 2016 - In F. Sterpetti, E. Ippoloti & T. Nickles (eds.), Models and Inferences in Science. Springer.
    I explore a challenge that idealisations pose to scientific realism and argue that the realist can best accommodate idealisations by capitalising on certain modal features of idealised models that are underwritten by laws of nature.
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  14. The Curious Case of Freeman Dyson and the Paranormal.Matthew Dentith - 2008 - Skeptic 14 (2).
    Michael Shermer recently attacked Freeman Dyson for putting forward the claim that there might be something in paranormal claims after all. Whilst I agree with Shermer on many points, I do think you can put forward a plausible theory as to why the Natural Sciences may not describe all phenomena, and that the undescribed phenomena might well be called 'paranormal' because of it. In this paper I will put forward the view that the language of the Natural Sciences may not (...)
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  15. Moderately Naturalistic Metaphysics.Matteo Morganti & Tuomas E. Tahko - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2557-2580.
    The present paper discusses different approaches to metaphysics and defends a specific, non-deflationary approach that nevertheless qualifies as scientifically-grounded and, consequently, as acceptable from the naturalistic viewpoint. By critically assessing some recent work on science and metaphysics, we argue that such a sophisticated form of naturalism, which preserves the autonomy of metaphysics as an a priori enterprise yet pays due attention to the indications coming from our best science, is not only workable but recommended.
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  16. Ciencia, realidad y racionalidad.Howard Sankey - 2015 - University of Cauca Press.
    This is a collection of my essays in the philosophy of science which have been translated into Spanish.
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  17. Scientific Realism, Adaptationism and the Problem of the Criterion.Fabio Sterpetti - 2015 - Kairos 13 (1):7-45.
    Scientific Realism (SR) has three crucial aspects: 1) the centrality of the concept of truth, 2) the idea that success is a reliable indicator of truth, and 3) the idea that the Inference to the Best Explanation is a reliable inference rule. It will be outlined how some realists try to overcome the difficulties which arise in justifying such crucial aspects relying on an adaptationist view of evolutionism, and why such attempts are inadequate. Finally, we will briefly sketch some of (...)
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  18. Scientific Realism and Basic Common Sense.Howard Sankey - 2014 - Kairos. Revista de Filosofia and Ciência 10:11-24.
    This paper considers the relationship between science and common sense. It takes as its point of departure, Eddington’s distinction between the table of physics and the table of common sense, as well as Eddington’s suggestion that science shows common sense to be false. Against the suggestion that science shows common sense to be false, it is argued that there is a form of common sense, basic common sense, which is not typically overthrown by scientific research. Such basic common sense is (...)
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  19. Empiricism for Cyborgs.Adam Toon - 2014 - Philosophical Issues 24 (1):409-425.
    One important debate between scientific realists and constructive empiricists concerns whether we observe things using instruments. This paper offers a new perspective on the debate over instruments by looking to recent discussion in philosophy of mind and cognitive science. Realists often speak of instruments as ‘extensions’ to our senses. I ask whether the realist may strengthen her view by drawing on the extended mind thesis. Proponents of the extended mind thesis claim that cognitive processes can sometimes extend beyond our brains (...)
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  20. Realism, Science, and Pragmatism.Kenneth R. Westphal (ed.) - 2014 - Routledge.
    This collection of original essays aims to reinvigorate the debate surrounding philosophical realism in relation to philosophy of science, pragmatism, epistemology, and theory of perception. Questions concerning realism are as current and as ancient as philosophy itself; this volume explores relations between different positions designated as ‘realism’ by examining specific cases in point, drawn from a broad range of systematic problems and historical views, from ancient Greek philosophy through the present. The first section examines the context of the project; contributions (...)
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  21. Success, Truth and the Galilean Strategy.P. D. Magnus - 2003 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 54 (3):465-474.
    Philip Kitcher develops the Galilean Strategy to defend realism against its many opponents. I explore the structure of the Galilean Strategy and consider it specifically as an instrument against constructive empiricism. Kitcher claims that the Galilean Strategy underwrites an inference from success to truth. We should resist that conclusion, I argue, but the Galilean Strategy should lead us by other routes to believe in many things about which the empiricist would rather remain agnostic. 1 Target: empiricism 2 The Galilean Strategy (...)
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  22. Realisms and Their Opponents.Uskali Mäki - 2001 - In N. J. Smelser & B. Baltes (eds.), International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences. pp. 19--12815.
    In everyday usage, ‘realism’ is often used as a name for a practically or epistemically low-ambition attitude, while ‘idealism’ is often taken to denote a highambition—if not utopian—attitude. In philosophcal usage, mostly, it is the other way around: those who are called realists tend to claim more than their opponents—they are the philosophical optimists. Within philosophy itself, ‘realism’ adopts a variety of interrelated and contested meanings. It is used as the name for doctrines about issues such as perceptual access to (...)
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  23. Scientific Enquiry and Natural Kinds: From Planets to Mallards.P. D. Magnus - 2012 - Palgrave-Macmillan.
    Some scientific categories seem to correspond to genuine features of the world and are indispensable for successful science in some domain; in short, they are natural kinds. This book gives a general account of what it is to be a natural kind and puts the account to work illuminating numerous specific examples.
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  24. 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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  25. Scientific Realism with a Humean Face.Stathis Psillos - 2011 - In Steven French & Juha Saatsi (eds.), The Continuum Companion to the Philosophy of Science. London: pp. 75-95.
    This paper offers an intellectual history of the scientific realism debate during the twentieth century. The telling of the tale will explain the philosophical significance and the prospects of the scientific realism debate, through the major turns it went through. The emphasis will be on the relations between empiricism and scientific realism and on the swing from metaphysics-hostile to metaphysics-friendly versions of realism.
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  26. 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 scientific realism and contains (...)
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  27. Qu'est-ce que le realisme scientifique?Howard Sankey - 2002 - Reseaux 94:69-82.
    Les tables, les chaises, les gens assis sur des chaises, à des tables sont des objets composés de matière. Selon la science, la matière se compose principalement d'atomes. Les atomes sont faits d'électrons, de neutrons et de protons. Les neutrons et les protons forment un noyau autour duquel orbitent les électrons. Outre ces particules, les physiciens en ont découvert un grand nombre d'autres, comme les photons, les quarks et les neutrinos.
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Convergent Realism
  1. A Methodological Argument Against Scientific Realism.Darrell P. Rowbottom - 2019 - Synthese 198 (3):2153-2167.
    First, I identify a methodological thesis associated with scientific realism. This has different variants, but each concerns the reliability of scientific methods in connection with acquiring, or approaching, truth or approximate truth. Second, I show how this thesis bears on what scientists should do when considering new theories that significantly contradict older theories. Third, I explore how vulnerable scientific realism is to a reductio ad absurdum as a result. Finally, I consider which variants of the methodological thesis are the most (...)
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  2. What is the Point of Reduction in Science?Karen Crowther - 2018 - Erkenntnis:1-24.
    The numerous and diverse roles of theory reduction in science have been insufficiently explored in the philosophy literature on reduction. Part of the reason for this has been a lack of attention paid to reduction2 (successional reduction)---although I here argue that this sense of reduction is closer to reduction1 (explanatory reduction) than is commonly recognised, and I use an account of reduction that is neutral between the two. This paper draws attention to the utility---and incredible versatility---of theory reduction. A non-exhaustive (...)
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  3. Realizm zreformowany. Filozofia Iana Hackinga a spór o status poznawczy wiedzy naukowej.Mateusz Kotowski - 2016 - Wrocław: Oficyna Naukowa PFF.
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  4. 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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  5. The Methodological Problems of Theory Unification (in the context of Maxwell's fusion of optics and electrodynamics).Rinat M. Nugayev - 2016 - Philosophy of Science and Technology (Moscow) 21 (2).
    It is discerned what light can bring the recent historical reconstructions of maxwellian optics and electromagnetism unification on the following philosophical/methodological questions. I. Why should one believe that Nature is ultimately simple and that unified theories are more likely to be true? II. What does it mean to say that a theory is unified? III. Why theory unification should be an epistemic virtue? To answer the questions posed genesis and development of Maxwellian electrodynamics are elucidated. It is enunciated that the (...)
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  6. 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, the wave (...)
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  7. The Ultimate Argument Against Convergent Realism and Structural Realism: The Impasse Objection.Paul Hoyningen-Huene - 2013 - In EPSA11 Perspectives and Foundational Problems in Philosophy of Science, The European Philosophy of Science Association Proceedings 2. pp. 131-139.
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  8. Convergent Realism and Its Rivals.Rinat M. Nugayev - 2012 - Credo New (3):1-27.
    CONVERGENT REALISM AND ITS RIVALS (joining the realism-antirealism debates in modern Western philosophy of science). Rinat M. Nugayev, Kazan branch of Russian University of Cooperation. Abstract. Arguments pro and contra convergent realism are considered. It is argued that to meet the antirealist challenges convergent realism meta-programme hard core should be modified significantly . However well-known rivals of structural realism – entity realism (N. Cartwright and I. Hacking) and structural realism (John Worrall) – are mere revisionist versions of convergent realism based (...)
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  9. 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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  10. Success, Truth and the Galilean Strategy.P. D. Magnus - 2003 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 54 (3):465-474.
    Philip Kitcher develops the Galilean Strategy to defend realism against its many opponents. I explore the structure of the Galilean Strategy and consider it specifically as an instrument against constructive empiricism. Kitcher claims that the Galilean Strategy underwrites an inference from success to truth. We should resist that conclusion, I argue, but the Galilean Strategy should lead us by other routes to believe in many things about which the empiricist would rather remain agnostic. 1 Target: empiricism 2 The Galilean Strategy (...)
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