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  1. On the Explanatory Power of Dispositional Realism.Nélida Gentile & Susana Lucero - forthcoming - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie:1-16.
    The article focuses on the unifying and explanatory power of the selective realism defended by Anjan Chakravartty. Our main aim is twofold. First, we critically analyse the purported synthesis between entity realism and structural realism offered by the author. We give reasons to think that this unification is an inconvenient marriage. In the second step, we deal with certain controversial aspects of the intended unification among three metaphysical concepts: causation, laws of nature and natural kinds. After pointing out that Chakravartty’s (...)
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  • Explanation and the Nature of Scientific Knowledge.Kevin McCain - 2015 - Science & Education 24 (7-8):827-854.
    Explaining phenomena is a primary goal of science. Consequently, it is unsurprising that gaining a proper understanding of the nature of explanation is an important goal of science education. In order to properly understand explanation, however, it is not enough to simply consider theories of the nature of explanation. Properly understanding explanation requires grasping the relation between explanation and understanding, as well as how explanations can lead to scientific knowledge. This article examines the nature of explanation, its relation to understanding, (...)
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  • Theory-Dependence, Warranted Reference, and the Epistemic Dimensions of Realism.Frederick Kroon - 2011 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 1 (2):173-191.
    The question of the role of theory in the determination of reference of theoretical terms continues to be a controversial one. In the present paper I assess a number of responses to this question (including variations on David Lewis’s appeal to Ramsification), before describing an alternative, epistemically oriented account of the reference-determination of such terms. The paper concludes by discussing some implications of the account for our understanding of both realism and such competitors of realism as constructive empiricism.
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  • The No-Miracles Argument, Reliabilism, and a Methodological Version of the Generality Problem.Mark Newman - 2010 - Synthese 177 (1):111 - 138.
    The No-Miracles Argument (NMA) is often used to support scientific realism. We can formulate this argument as an inference to the best explanation this accusation of circularity by appealing to reliabilism, an externalist epistemology. In this paper I argue that this retreat fails. Reliabilism suffers from a potentially devastating difficulty known as the Generality Problem and attempts to solve this problem require adopting both epistemic and metaphysical assumptions regarding local scientific theories. Although the externalist can happily adopt the former, if (...)
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  • Explanation and Metaphysics.Alexander Bird - 2005 - Synthese 143 (1-2):89-107.
    Is the nature of explanation a metaphysical issue? Or has it more to do with psychology and pragmatics? To put things in a different way: what are primary relata in an explanation? What sorts of thing explain what other sorts of thing? David Lewis identifies two senses of ‘explanation’ (Lewis 1986, 217–218). In the first sense, an explanation is an act of explaining. I shall call this the subjectivist sense, since its existence depends on some subject doing the explaining. Hence (...)
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  • Special Issue: Philosophical Considerations in the Teaching of Biology. Part II, Evolution, Development and Genetics.Kostas Kampourakis (ed.) - 2013 - Springer (Science & Education).
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  • Scientific Practice, Conceptual Change, and the Nature of Concepts.Ingo Brigandt - manuscript
    The theory of concepts advanced in the present discussion aims at accounting for a) how a concept makes successful practice possible, and b) how a scientific concept can be subject to rational change in the course of history. To this end, I suggest that each scientific concept consists of three components of content: 1) the concept.
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  • Naturalistic Epistemology and Reliabilism.Alvin I. Goldman - 1994 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 19 (1):301-320.
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  • An Alternative to Kitcher's Theory of Conceptual Progress and His Account of the Change of the Gene Concept.Ingo Brigandt - 2004
    The present paper discusses Kitcher’s framework for studying conceptual change and progress. Kitcher’s core notion of reference potential is hard to apply to concrete cases. In addition, an account of conceptual change as change in reference potential misses some important aspects of conceptual change and conceptual progress. I propose an alternative framework that focuses on the inferences and explanations supported by scientific concepts. The application of my approach to the history of the gene concept offers a better account of the (...)
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  • Can Science Investigate the Supernatural? An Investigation Into the Relationship Between Science, the Supernatural and Religion.Jonathan Winthrop - unknown
    Throughout the last century there has been much discussion over what it is that makes an activity or a theory 'scientific'. In the philosophy of science, conversation has focused on differentiating legitimate science from so-called 'pseudoscience'. In the broader cultural sphere this topic has received attention in multiple legal debates regarding the status of creationism, where it has been generally agreed that the 'supernatural' nature of the claims involved renders them unscientific. In this thesis I focus upon the latter of (...)
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  • Critical Responses To: Whelton's and Hussey's Papers.Susan R. Gortner - 2001 - Nursing Philosophy 2 (2):177–179.
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  • Comments on 'Spirituality and Nursing: A Reductionist Approach' by John Paley.Robert W. Newsom - 2008 - Nursing Philosophy 9 (3):214-217.
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  • Underdetermination and Realism.Michael Devitt - 2002 - Noûs 36 (s1):26 - 50.
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  • Underdetermination and Realism.Michael Devitt - 2002 - Philosophical Issues 12 (1):26-50.
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  • Empirical Epistemology and Philosophy of Science.Peter Kosso - 1991 - Metaphilosophy 22 (4):349-363.
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  • Realism, Relativism, and Naturalized Meta-Epistemology.James Maffie - 1993 - Metaphilosophy 24 (1-2):1-13.
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  • Epistemic Value: Truth or Explanation?David Resnik - 1994 - Metaphilosophy 25 (4):348-361.
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  • Can Science Be Objective? Longino's Science as Social Knowledge.Sharon L. Crasnow - 1993 - Hypatia 8 (3):194-201.
    InScience as Social Knowledge, Helen Longino offers a contextual analysis of evidential relevance. She claims that this “contextual empiricism” reconciles the objectivity of science with the claim that science is socially constructed. I argue that while her account does offer key insights into the role that values play in science, her claim that science is nonetheless objective is problematic.
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  • Ecology and Eschatology: Science and Theological Modeling.William H. Klink - 1994 - Zygon 29 (4):529-545.
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  • Hacking’s Experimental Realism.David B. Resnik - 1994 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 24 (3):395-411.
    Traditional debates about scientific realism tend to focus on issues concerning scientific representation and de-emphasize issues concerning scientific intervention. Questions about the relation between theories and the world, the nature of scientific inference, and the structure of scientific explanations have occupied a central place in the realism debate, while questions about experimentation and technology have not. Ian Hacking's experimental realism attempts to reverse this trend by shifting the defense of realism away from representation to intervention. Experimental realism, according to Hacking, (...)
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  • Brown's Rationality.Carl Matheson - 1992 - Social Epistemology 6 (1):35 – 43.
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  • Realism and Objectivism in Quantum Mechanics.Vassilios Karakostas - 2012 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 43 (1):45-65.
    The present study attempts to provide a consistent and coherent account of what the world could be like, given the conceptual framework and results of contemporary quantum theory. It is suggested that standard quantum mechanics can, and indeed should, be understood as a realist theory within its domain of application. It is pointed out, however, that a viable realist interpretation of quantum theory requires the abandonment or radical revision of the classical conception of physical reality and its traditional philosophical presuppositions. (...)
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  • A Defense of the Knowledge Argument.John Martin DePoe - unknown
    Defenders of the Knowledge Argument contend that physicalism is false because knowing all the physical truths is not sufficient to know all the truths about the world. In particular, proponents of the Knowledge Argument claim that physicalism is false because the truths about the character of conscious experience are not knowable from the complete set of physical truths. This dissertation is a defense of the Knowledge Argument. Chapter one characterizes what physicalism is and provides support for the claim that if (...)
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  • Why a Scientific Realist Cannot Be a Functionalist.Derk Pereboom - 1991 - Synthese 88 (September):341-58.
    According to functionalism, mental state types consist solely in relations to inputs, outputs, and other mental states. I argue that two central claims of a prominent and plausible type of scientific realism conflict with the functionalist position. These claims are that natural kinds in a mature science are not reducible to natural kinds in any other, and that all dispositional features of natural kinds can be explained at the type-level. These claims, when applied to psychology, have the consequence that at (...)
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  • Three Paradigms of Scientific Realism: A Truthmaking Account.Jamin Asay - 2013 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27 (1):1-21.
    This paper investigates the nature of scientific realism. I begin by considering the anomalous fact that Bas van Fraassen’s account of scientific realism is strikingly similar to Arthur Fine’s account of scientific non-realism. To resolve this puzzle, I demonstrate how the two theorists understand the nature of truth and its connection to ontology, and how that informs their conception of the realism debate. I then argue that the debate is much better captured by the theory of truthmaking, and not by (...)
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  • Autonomy and Objectivity of Science.Jouni-Matti Kuukkanen - 2012 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 26 (3):309-334.
    This article deals with the problematic concepts of the rational and the social, which have been typically seen as dichotomous in the history and philosophy of science literature. I argue that this view is mistaken and that the social can be seen as something that enables rationality in science, and further, that a scientific community as well as an individual can be taken as an epistemic subject. Furthermore, I consider how scientific communities could be seen as freely acting and choosing (...)
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  • Theory Status, Inductive Realism, and Approximate Truth: No Miracles, No Charades.Shelby D. Hunt - 2011 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 25 (2):159 - 178.
    The concept of approximate truth plays a prominent role in most versions of scientific realism. However, adequately conceptualizing ?approximate truth? has proved challenging. This article argues that the goal of articulating the concept of approximate truth can be advanced by first investigating the processes by which science accords theories the status of accepted or rejected. Accordingly, this article uses a path diagram model as a visual heuristic for the purpose of showing the processes in science that are involved in determining (...)
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  • No New Miracles, Same Old Tricks.Jacob Busch - 2008 - Theoria 74 (2):102-114.
    Abstract: Laudan (1984) distinguishes between two senses of success for scientific theories: (i) that a particular theory is successful, and (ii) that the methods for picking out approximately true theories are successful. These two senses of success are reflected in two different ways that the no miracles argument for scientific realism (NMA) may be set out. First, I set out a (traditional) version of NMA that considers the success of particular theories. I then consider a more recent formulation of NMA (...)
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  • Invariance, Structure, Measurement – Eino Kaila and the History of Logical Empiricism.Matthias Neuber - 2012 - Theoria 78 (4):358-383.
    Eino Kaila's thought occupies a curious position within the logical empiricist movement. Along with Hans Reichenbach, Herbert Feigl, and the early Moritz Schlick, Kaila advocates a realist approach towards science and the project of a “scientific world conception”. This realist approach was chiefly directed at both Kantianism and Poincaréan conventionalism. The case in point was the theory of measurement. According to Kaila, the foundations of physical reality are characterized by the existence of invariant systems of relations, which he called structures. (...)
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  • How to Be a Metaphysical Realist.Evan Fales - 1988 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 12 (1):253-274.
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  • Against Arguments From Reference.Ron Mallon, Edouard Machery, Shaun Nichols & Stephen Stich - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (2):332 - 356.
    It is common in various quarters of philosophy to derive philosophically significant conclusions from theories of reference. In this paper, we argue that philosophers should give up on such 'arguments from reference.' Intuitions play a central role in establishing theories of reference, and recent cross-cultural work suggests that intuitions about reference vary across cultures and between individuals within a culture (Machery et al. 2004). We argue that accommodating this variation within a theory of reference undermines arguments from reference.
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  • The Abductivist Reply to Skepticism.James R. Beebe - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (3):605-636.
    Abductivists claim that explanatory considerations (e.g., simplicity, parsimony, explanatory breadth, etc.) favor belief in the external world over skeptical hypotheses involving evil demons and brains in vats. After showing how most versions of abductivism succumb fairly easily to obvious and fatal objections, I explain how rationalist versions of abductivism can avoid these difficulties. I then discuss the most pressing challenges facing abductivist appeals to the a priori and offer suggestions on how to overcome them.
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  • Logic in Reality.Joseph E. Brenner - 2008 - Dordrecht, Netherland: Springer.
    The work is the presentation of a logical theory - Logic in Reality (LIR) - and of applications of that theory in natural science and philosophy, including ...
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  • Structural Realism and Generative Linguistics.Ryan M. Nefdt - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1-2):3711-3737.
    Linguistics as a science has rapidly changed during the course of a relatively short period. The mathematical foundations of the science, however, present a different story below the surface. In this paper, I argue that due to the former, the seismic shifts in theory over the past 80 years opens linguistics up to the problem of pessimistic meta-induction or radical theory change. I further argue that, due to the latter, one current solution to this problem in the philosophy of science, (...)
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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 be true is (...)
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  • Why the No‐Miracles Argument Fails.Carl Matheson - 1998 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 12 (3):263 – 279.
    The chief argument for scientific realism is the no-miracles argument, according to which the approximate truth of our current scientific theories can be inferred from their success through time. To date, anti-realist responses to the argument have been unconvincing, largely because of their anti-realistic presuppositions. In this paper, it is shown that realists cannot pre-emptively dismiss the problem of the underdetermination of theory by evidence, and that the no-miracles argument fails because it does nothing to dispel the threat posed by (...)
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  • Relativism, Translation, and the Metaphysics of Realism.Aristidis Arageorgis - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (3):659-680.
    Thoroughgoing relativists typically dismiss the realist conviction that competing theories describe just one definite and mind-independent world-structure on the grounds that such theories fail to be relatively translatable even though they are equally correct. This line of argument allegedly brings relativism into direct conflict with the metaphysics of realism. I argue that this relativist line of reasoning is shaky by deriving a theorem about relativistic inquiry in formal epistemology—more specifically, in the approach Kevin Kelly has dubbed “logic of reliable inquiry”. (...)
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  • Structural Correspondence Between Theories and Convergence to Truth.Gerhard Schurz - 2011 - Synthese 179 (2):307 - 320.
    This paper utilizes a logical correspondence theorem (which has been proved elsewhere) for the justification of weak conceptions of scientific realism and convergence to truth which do not presuppose Putnam's no-miracles-argument (NMA). After presenting arguments against the reliability of the unrestricted NMA in Sect. 1, the correspondence theorem is explained in Sect. 2. In Sect. 3, historical illustrations of the correspondence theorem are given, and its ontological consequences are worked out. Based on the transitivity of the concept of correspondence, a (...)
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  • Two Notions of Scientific Justification.Matthias Adam - 2007 - Synthese 158 (1):93 - 108.
    Scientific claims can be assessed epistemically in either of two ways: according to scientific standards, or by means of philosophical arguments such as the no-miracle argument in favor of scientific realism. This paper investigates the basis of this duality of epistemic assessments. It is claimed that the duality rests on two different notions of epistemic justification that are well-known from the debate on internalism and externalism in general epistemology: a deontological and an alethic notion. By discussing the conditions for the (...)
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  • Critical Discussion.David B. Resnik - 1993 - Erkenntnis 38 (2):261 - 271.
    InExplaining Science: A Cognitive Approach, Ronald Giere (1988), proposes what he calls a cognitive theory of science (p. 2). Giere intends his view to be a broadly scientific account employing the resources of the cognitive sciences (Giere, 1988, p. 2). This paper argues that Giere does not secure a firm foundation for a cognitive theory of science because he leaves the door wide open for social constructivist interpretations of his views. In order to avoid social constructivism, Giere needs to adopt (...)
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  • The Pessimistic Induction, the Flight to Reference and the Metaphysical Zoo.Michael A. Bishop - 2003 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 17 (2):161 – 178.
    Scientific realism says of our best scientific theories that (1) most of their important posits exist and (2) most of their central claims are approximately true. Antirealists sometimes offer the pessimistic induction in reply: since (1) and (2) are false about past successful theories, they are probably false about our own best theories too. The contemporary debate about this argument has turned (and become stuck) on the question, Do the central terms of successful scientific theories refer? For example, Larry Laudan (...)
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  • Repairing the Reticulated Model of Scientific Rationality.David Resnik - 1994 - Erkenntnis 40 (3):343 - 355.
    InScience and Values (1984) and other, more recent, works, e.g. (1987a, 1987b, 1989a, 1989b, 1990), Larry Laudan proposes a theory of scientific debate he dubs the reticulated model of scientific rationality (Laudan, 1984, pp. 50–66). The model stands in sharp contrast to hierarchical approaches to rationality exemplified by Popper (1959), Hempel (1965), and Reichenbach (1938), as well as the conventionalist views of rationality defended by Carnap (1950), Popper (1959), Kuhn (1962), and Lakatos (1978). Ironically, the model commits some of the (...)
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  • On Regulating What is Known: A Way to Social Epistemology.Steve Fuller - 1987 - Synthese 73 (1):145 - 183.
    This paper lays the groundwork for normative-yet-naturalistic social epistemology. I start by presenting two scenarios for the history of epistemology since Kant, one in which social epistemology is the natural outcome and the other in which it represents a not entirely satisfactory break with classical theories of knowledge. Next I argue that the current trend toward naturalizing epistemology threatens to destroy the distinctiveness of the sociological approach by presuming that it complements standard psychological and historical approaches. I then try to (...)
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  • Did Tom Kuhn Actually Meet Tom Bayes?Lefteris Farmakis - 2008 - Erkenntnis 68 (1):41 - 53.
    Wesley Salmon and John Earman have presented influential Bayesian reconstructions of Thomas Kuhn’s account of theory-change. In this paper I argue that all attempts to give a Bayesian reading of Kuhn’s philosophy of science are fundamentally misguided due to the fact that Bayesian confirmation theory is in fact inconsistent with Kuhn’s account. The reasons for this inconsistency are traced to the role the concept of incommensurability plays with reference to the ‘observational vocabulary’ within Kuhn’s picture of scientific theories. The upshot (...)
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  • Scientific Understanding: Truth or Dare?Henk W. de Regt - 2015 - Synthese 192 (12):3781-3797.
    It is often claimed—especially by scientific realists—that science provides understanding of the world only if its theories are (at least approximately) true descriptions of reality, in its observable as well as unobservable aspects. This paper critically examines this ‘realist thesis’ concerning understanding. A crucial problem for the realist thesis is that (as study of the history and practice of science reveals) understanding is frequently obtained via theories and models that appear to be highly unrealistic or even completely fictional. So we (...)
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  • Naturalism, Scientism and the Independence of Epistemology.James Maffie - 1995 - Erkenntnis 43 (1):1 - 27.
    Naturalists seek continuity between epistemology and science. Critics argue this illegitimately expands science into epistemology and commits the fallacy of scientism. Must naturalists commit this fallacy? I defend a conception of naturalized epistemology which upholds the non-identity of epistemic ends, norms, and concepts with scientific evidential ends, norms, and concepts. I argue it enables naturalists to avoid three leading scientistic fallacies: dogmatism, one dimensionalism, and granting science an epistemic monopoly.
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  • Does Every Theory Have Empirically Equivalent Rivals?André Kukla - 1996 - Erkenntnis 44 (2):137 - 166.
    The instrumentalist argument from the underdetermination of theories by data runs as follows: (1) every theory has empirically equivalent rivals; (2) the only warrant for believing one theory over another is its possession of a greater measure of empirical virtue; (3) therefore belief in any theory is arbitrary. In this paper, I examine the status of the first premise. Several arguments against the universal availability of empirically equivalent theoretical rivals are criticized, and four algorithms for producing empirically equivalent rivals are (...)
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  • From Standard Scientific Realism and Structural Realism to Best Current Theory Realism.Gerald D. Doppelt - 2011 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 42 (2):295-316.
    I defend a realist commitment to the truth of our most empirically successful current scientific theories—on the ground that it provides the best explanation of their success and the success of their falsified predecessors. I argue that this Best Current Theory Realism (BCTR) is superior to preservative realism (PR) and the structural realism (SR). I show that PR and SR rest on the implausible assumption that the success of outdated theories requires the realist to hold that these theories possessed truthful (...)
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  • Indeterminacy, Empirical Evidence, and Methodological Pluralism.Joseph Rouse - 1991 - Synthese 86 (3):443 - 465.
    Roth (1987) effectively distinguishes Quinean indeterminacy of translation from the more general underdetermination of theories by showing how indeterminacy follows directly from holism and the role of a shared environment in language learning. However, Roth is mistaken in three further consequences he draws from his interpretation of indeterminacy. Contra Roth, natural science and social science are not differentiated as offering theories about the shared environment and theories about meanings respectively; the role of the environment in language learning does not justify (...)
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  • Free Will Eliminativism: Reference, Error, and Phenomenology.Gregg D. Caruso - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (10):2823-2833.
    Shaun Nichols has recently argued that while the folk notion of free will is associated with error, a question still remains whether the concept of free will should be eliminated or preserved. He maintains that like other eliminativist arguments in philosophy, arguments that free will is an illusion seem to depend on substantive assumptions about reference. According to free will eliminativists, people have deeply mistaken beliefs about free will and this entails that free will does not exist. However, an alternative (...)
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