The Appearance and the Reality of a Scientific Theory

Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 9 (11):59-69 (2020)
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Scientific realists claim that the best of successful rival theories is (approximately) true. Relative realists object that we cannot make the absolute judgment that a theory is successful, and that we can only make the relative judgment that it is more successful than its competitor. I argue that this objection is undermined by the cases in which empirical equivalents are successful. Relative realists invoke the argument from a bad lot to undermine scientific realism and to support relative realism. In response, I construct the argument from double spaces. It is similar to the argument from a bad lot, but threatens many philosophical inferences, including relative realists’ inference from comparative success to comparative truth.

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Seungbae Park
Ulsan National Institute Of Science And Technology


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