Formulational vs. Epistemological Debates Concerning Scientific Realism

Dialogue 59 (3):479-496 (2020)
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Abstract
A formulational debate is a debate over whether certain definitions of scientific realism and antirealism are useful or useless. By contrast, an epistemological debate is a debate over whether we have sufficient evidence for scientific realism and antirealism defined in a certain manner. I argue that Hilary Putnam’s definitions of scientific realism and antirealism are more useful than Bas van Fraassen’s definitions of scientific realism and constructive empiricism because Putnam’s definitions can generate both formulational and epistemological debates, whereas van Fraassen’s can generate only formulational debates.
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First archival date: 2020-01-21
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