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Optimism about the pessimistic induction

In P. D. Magnus & Jacob Busch (eds.), New Waves in Philosophy of Science. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 29-58 (2010)

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  1. Replies.Sherrilyn Roush - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (1):240-247.
    Reply to Goldman I would like to thank Alvin for a spirited, and gentlemanly, debate we’ve had on these issues, which is extended further here. Alvin is exactly right that if we make his assumption about maximum specificity and deduceability (which I have doubts about), then on my view of knowledge Sphere Guy doesn’t know there’s a sphere in front of him. This may sound silly when we focus on his tactile access to the sphere in the actual world, but (...)
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  • Justification, knowledge, and normality.Clayton Littlejohn & Julien Dutant - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (6):1593-1609.
    There is much to like about the idea that justification should be understood in terms of normality or normic support (Smith 2016, Goodman and Salow 2018). The view does a nice job explaining why we should think that lottery beliefs differ in justificatory status from mundane perceptual or testimonial beliefs. And it seems to do that in a way that is friendly to a broadly internalist approach to justification. In spite of its attractions, we think that the normic support view (...)
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  • The Pessimistic Meta-Induction: Obsolete Through Scientific Progress?Florian Müller - 2015 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 29 (4):393-412.
    Recently, Fahrbach and Park have argued that the pessimistic meta-induction about scientific theories is unsound. They claim that this very argument does not properly take into account scientific progress, particularly during the twentieth century. They also propose amended arguments in favour of scientific realism, which are supposed to properly reflect the history of science. I try to show that what I call the argument from scientific progress cannot explain satisfactorily why the current theories should have reached a degree of success (...)
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  • Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions - 50 Years On.William J. Devlin & Alisa Bokulich (eds.) - 2015 - Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science, vol. 311. Springer.
    In 1962, the publication of Thomas Kuhn’s Structure ‘revolutionized’ the way one conducts philosophical and historical studies of science. Through the introduction of both memorable and controversial notions, such as paradigms, scientific revolutions, and incommensurability, Kuhn argued against the traditionally accepted notion of scientific change as a progression towards the truth about nature, and instead substituted the idea that science is a puzzle solving activity, operating under paradigms, which become discarded after it fails to respond accordingly to anomalous challenges and (...)
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  • New Objections to the Problem of Unconceived Alternatives.Seungbae Park - 2019 - Filosofia Unisinos 20 (2):138-145.
    The problem of unconceived alternatives can be undermined, regardless of whether the possibility space of alternatives is bounded or unbounded. If it is bounded, pessimists need to justify their assumption that the probability that scientists have not yet eliminated enough false alternatives is higher than the probability that scientists have already eliminated enough false alternatives. If it is unbounded, pessimists need to justify their assumption that the probability that scientists have not yet moved from the possibility space of false alternatives (...)
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  • Selective Realism Vs. Individual Realism for Scientific Creativity.Seungbae Park - 2017 - Creativity Studies 10 (1):97-107.
    Individual realism asserts that our best scientific theories are (approximately) true. In contrast, selective realism asserts that only the stable posits of our best scientific theories are true. Hence, individual realism recommends that we accept more of what our best scientific theories say about the world than selective realism does. The more scientists believe what their theories say about the world, the more they are motivated to exercise their imaginations and think up new theories and experiments. Therefore, individual realism better (...)
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  • 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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  • Should Scientific Realists Embrace Theoretical Conservatism?Finnur Dellsén - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A:30-38.
    A prominent type of scientific realism holds that some important parts of our best current scientific theories are at least approximately true. According to such realists, radically distinct alternatives to these theories or theory-parts are unlikely to be approximately true. Thus one might be tempted to argue, as the prominent anti-realist Kyle Stanford recently did, that realists of this kind have little or no reason to encourage scientists to attempt to identify and develop theoretical alternatives that are radically distinct from (...)
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  • Localism Vs. Individualism for the Scientific Realism Debate.Seungbae Park - 2019 - Philosophical Papers 48 (3):359-377.
    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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  • Preface Writers Are Consistent.Roger Clarke - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (3):362-381.
    The preface paradox does not show that it can be rational to have inconsistent beliefs, because preface writers do not have inconsistent beliefs. I argue, first, that a fully satisfactory solution to the preface paradox would have it that the preface writer's beliefs are consistent. The case here is on basic intuitive grounds, not the consequence of a theory of rationality or of belief. Second, I point out that there is an independently motivated theory of belief – sensitivism – which (...)
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  • Truth and Scientific Change.Gila Sher - 2017 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 48 (3):371-394.
    The paper seeks to answer two new questions about truth and scientific change: What lessons does the phenomenon of scientific change teach us about the nature of truth? What light do recent developments in the theory of truth, incorporating these lessons, throw on problems arising from the prevalence of scientific change, specifically, the problem of pessimistic meta-induction?
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  • Expanding Our Grasp: Causal Knowledge and the Problem of Unconceived Alternatives.Matthias Egg - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (1):115-141.
    I argue that scientific realism, insofar as it is only committed to those scientific posits of which we have causal knowledge, is immune to Kyle Stanford’s argument from unconceived alternatives. This causal strategy is shown not to repeat the shortcomings of previous realist responses to Stanford’s argument. Furthermore, I show that the notion of causal knowledge underlying it can be made sufficiently precise by means of conceptual tools recently introduced into the debate on scientific realism. Finally, I apply this strategy (...)
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  • Scientific Revolutions and the Explosion of Scientific Evidence.Ludwig Fahrbach - 2017 - Synthese 194 (12):5039-5072.
    Scientific realism, the position that successful theories are likely to be approximately true, is threatened by the pessimistic induction according to which the history of science is full of suc- cessful, but false theories. I aim to defend scientific realism against the pessimistic induction. My main thesis is that our current best theories each enjoy a very high degree of predictive success, far higher than was enjoyed by any of the refuted theories. I support this thesis by showing that both (...)
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  • Belief, Credence, and the Preface Paradox.Alex Worsnip - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (3):549-562.
    ABSTRACTMany discussions of the ‘preface paradox’ assume that it is more troubling for deductive closure constraints on rational belief if outright belief is reducible to credence. I show that this is an error: we can generate the problem without assuming such reducibility. All that we need are some very weak normative assumptions about rational relationships between belief and credence. The only view that escapes my way of formulating the problem for the deductive closure constraint is in fact itself a reductive (...)
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  • Pessimistic Inductions: Four Varieties.K. Brad Wray - 2015 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 29 (1):61-73.
    The pessimistic induction plays an important role in the contemporary realism/anti-realism debate in philosophy of science. But there is some disagreement about the structure and aim of the argument. And a number of scholars have noted that there is more than one type of PI in the philosophical literature. I review four different versions of the PI. I aim to show that PIs have been appealed to by philosophers of science for a variety of reasons. Even some realists have appealed (...)
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