Extensional Scientific Realism vs. Intensional Scientific Realism

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Abstract
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 realism is not, to the pessimistic induction. I reply that if extensional realism overcomes the pessimistic induction at all, that is because it implicitly relies on the theoretical resource of intensional realism. I also argue that extensional realism, by nature, cannot embed a criterion for distinguishing between believable and unbelievable theories.
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2016
PhilPapers/Archive ID
PARESR-3
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First archival date: 2016-06-07
Latest version: 6 (2019-01-02)
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2016-06-07

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