Explanatory Failures of Relative Realism

Epistemologia 38 (1):16-28 (2015)
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Scientific realism (Putnam 1975; Psillos 1999) and relative realism (Mizrahi 2013) claim that successful scientific theories are approximately true and comparatively true, respectively. A theory is approximately true if and only if it is close to the truth. A theory is comparatively true if and only if it is closer to the truth than its competitors are. I argue that relative realism is more skeptical about the claims of science than it initially appears to be and that it can explain neither the success nor the failure of science. Hence, it is not a promising competitor to scientific realism.

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Seungbae Park
Ulsan National Institute Of Science And Technology


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