Three Paradigms of Scientific Realism: A Truthmaking Account

Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
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 any particular theory of truth. To be a scientific realist is to adopt a realism-relevant account of what makes true the scientific theories one accepts. The truthmaking approach restores realism’s metaphysical core—distancing itself from linguistic conceptions of the debate—and thereby offers a better characterization of what is at stake in the question of scientific realism.
Reprint years
2013
PhilPapers/Archive ID
ASATPO-2
Upload history
Archival date: 2012-12-04
View other versions
Added to PP index
2012-12-05

Total views
1,315 ( #2,175 of 53,004 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
131 ( #3,532 of 53,004 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.