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  1. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - University of Chicago Press.
    A scientific community cannot practice its trade without some set of received beliefs. These beliefs form the foundation of the "educational initiation that prepares and licenses the student for professional practice". The nature of the "rigorous and rigid" preparation helps ensure that the received beliefs are firmly fixed in the student's mind. Scientists take great pains to defend the assumption that scientists know what the world is like...To this end, "normal science" will often suppress novelties which undermine its foundations. Research (...)
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  • Explaining the Success of a Scientific Theory.Timothy D. Lyons - 2003 - Philosophy of Science 70 (5):891-901.
    Scientific realists have claimed that the posit that our theories are (approximately) true provides the best or the only explanation for their success . In response, I revive two non-realists explanations. I show that realists, in discarding them, have either misconstrued the phenomena to be explained or mischaracterized the relationship between these explanations and their own. I contend nonetheless that these non-realist competitors, as well as their realist counterparts, should be rejected; for none of them succeed in explaining a significant (...)
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  • The Advancement of Science: Science Without Legend, Objectivity Without Illusion by Philip Kitcher. [REVIEW]Ian Hacking - 1994 - Journal of Philosophy 91 (4):212-215.
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  • Scientific Realism: How Science Tracks Truth.Stathis Psillos - 1999 - Routledge.
    Scientific Realism is the optimistic view that modern science is on the right track: that the world really is the way our best scientific theories describe it to be. In his book, Stathis Psillos gives us a detailed and comprehensive study, which restores the intuitive plausibility of scientific realism. We see that throughout the twentieth century, scientific realism has been challenged by philosophical positions from all angles: from reductive empiricism, to instrumentalism and modern skeptical empiricism. Scientific Realism explains that the (...)
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  • Why Should We Be Pessimistic About Antirealists and Pessimists?Seungbae Park - 2017 - Foundations of Science 22 (3):613-625.
    The pessimistic induction over scientific theories holds that present theories will be overthrown as were past theories. The pessimistic induction over scientists holds that present scientists cannot conceive of future theories just as past scientists could not conceive of present theories. The pessimistic induction over realists :4321–4330, 2013) holds that present realists are wrong about present theories just as past realists were wrong about past theories. The pessimistic induction over antirealist theories :3–21, 2014) holds that the latest antirealist explanation of (...)
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  • Refutations of the Two Pessimistic Inductions.Seungbae Park - 2016 - Philosophia 44 (3):835-844.
    Both the pessimistic inductions over scientific theories and over scientists are built upon what I call proportional pessimism: as theories are discarded, the inductive rationale for concluding that the next theories will be discarded grows stronger. I argue that proportional pessimism clashes with the fact that present theories are more successful than past theories, and with the implications of the assumptions that there are finitely and infinitely many unconceived alternatives. Therefore, the two pessimistic inductions collapse along with proportional pessimism.
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  • A Confutation of the Pessimistic Induction.Seungbae Park - 2011 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 42 (1):75-84.
    The pessimistic induction holds that successful past scientific theories are completely false, so successful current ones are completely false too. I object that past science did not perform as poorly as the pessimistic induction depicts. A close study of the history of science entitles us to construct an optimistic induction that would neutralize the pessimistic induction. Also, even if past theories were completely false, it does not even inductively follow that the current theories will also turn out to be completely (...)
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  • Realist Ennui and the Base Rate Fallacy.P. D. Magnus & Craig Callender - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (3):320-338.
    The no-miracles argument and the pessimistic induction are arguably the main considerations for and against scientific realism. Recently these arguments have been accused of embodying a familiar, seductive fallacy. In each case, we are tricked by a base rate fallacy, one much-discussed in the psychological literature. In this paper we consider this accusation and use it as an explanation for why the two most prominent `wholesale' arguments in the literature seem irresolvable. Framed probabilistically, we can see very clearly why realists (...)
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  • How the Growth of Science Ends Theory Change.Ludwig Fahrbach - 2011 - Synthese 180 (2):139-155.
    This paper outlines a defense of scientific realism against the pessimistic meta- induction which appeals to the phenomenon of the exponential growth of science. Here, scientific realism is defined as the view that our current successful scientific theories are mostly approximately true, and pessimistic meta- induction is the argument that projects the occurrence of past refutations of successful theories to the present concluding that many or most current successful scientific theories are false. The defense starts with the observation that at (...)
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  • The Pessimistic Induction: A Bad Argument Gone Too Far.Moti Mizrahi - 2013 - Synthese 190 (15):3209-3226.
    In this paper, I consider the pessimistic induction construed as a deductive argument (specifically, reductio ad absurdum) and as an inductive argument (specifically, inductive generalization). I argue that both formulations of the pessimistic induction are fallacious. I also consider another possible interpretation of the pessimistic induction, namely, as pointing to counterexamples to the scientific realist’s thesis that success is a reliable mark of (approximate) truth. I argue that this interpretation of the pessimistic induction fails, too. If this is correct, then (...)
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  • Method and Continuity in Science.K. Wray - 2016 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 47 (2):363-375.
    Devitt has developed an interesting defense of realism against the threats posed by the Pessimistic Induction and the Argument from Unconceived Alternatives. Devitt argues that the best explanation for the success of our current theories, and the fact that they are superior to the theories they replaced, is that they were developed and tested with the aid of better methods than the methods used to develop and test the many theories that were discarded earlier in the history of science. It (...)
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  • Historical Inductions: New Cherries, Same Old Cherry-Picking.Moti Mizrahi - 2015 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 29 (2):129-148.
    In this article, I argue that arguments from the history of science against scientific realism, like the arguments advanced by P. Kyle Stanford and Peter Vickers, are fallacious. The so-called Old Induction, like Vickers's, and New Induction, like Stanford's, are both guilty of confirmation bias—specifically, of cherry-picking evidence that allegedly challenges scientific realism while ignoring evidence to the contrary. I also show that the historical episodes that Stanford adduces in support of his New Induction are indeterminate between a pessimistic and (...)
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  • Pessimistic Inductions: Four Varieties.K. Brad Wray - 2015 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 29 (1):61-73.
    The pessimistic induction plays an important role in the contemporary realism/anti-realism debate in philosophy of science. But there is some disagreement about the structure and aim of the argument. And a number of scholars have noted that there is more than one type of PI in the philosophical literature. I review four different versions of the PI. I aim to show that PIs have been appealed to by philosophers of science for a variety of reasons. Even some realists have appealed (...)
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  • Meaning and the Moral Sciences.Hilary Putnam - 1978 - Routledge and Kegan Paul.
    INTRODUCTION Before Kant almost every philosopher subscribed to the view that truth is some kind of correspondence between ideas and 'what is the case'. ...
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  • A Confutation of Convergent Realism.Larry Laudan - 1981 - Philosophy of Science 48 (1):19-49.
    This essay contains a partial exploration of some key concepts associated with the epistemology of realist philosophies of science. It shows that neither reference nor approximate truth will do the explanatory jobs that realists expect of them. Equally, several widely-held realist theses about the nature of inter-theoretic relations and scientific progress are scrutinized and found wanting. Finally, it is argued that the history of science, far from confirming scientific realism, decisively confutes several extant versions of avowedly 'naturalistic' forms of scientific (...)
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  • A Novel Defense of Scientific Realism.Jarrett Leplin - 1997 - Oxford University Press.
    Leplin attempts to reinstate the common sense idea that theoretical knowledge is achievable, indeed that its achievement is part of the means to progress in empirical knowledge. He sketches the genesis of the skeptical position, then introduces his argument for Minimalist Scientific Realism -- the requirement that novel predicitons be explained, and the claim that only realism about scientific theories can explain the importance of novel prediction.
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  • Exceeding Our Grasp: Science, History, and the Problem of Unconceived Alternatives.P. Kyle Stanford - 2006 - Oxford University Press.
    The incredible achievements of modern scientific theories lead most of us to embrace scientific realism: the view that our best theories offer us at least roughly accurate descriptions of otherwise inaccessible parts of the world like genes, atoms, and the big bang. In Exceeding Our Grasp, Stanford argues that careful attention to the history of scientific investigation invites a challenge to this view that is not well represented in contemporary debates about the nature of the scientific enterprise. The historical record (...)
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  • A Novel Defense of Scientific Realism.R. Healey - 2001 - Mind 110 (439):777-780.
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  • Best Theory Scientific Realism.Gerald Doppelt - 2014 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 4 (2):271-291.
    The aim of this essay is to argue for a new version of ‘inference-to-the-best-explanation’ scientific realism, which I characterize as Best Theory Realism or ‘BTR’. On BTR, the realist needs only to embrace a commitment to the truth or approximate truth of the best theories in a field, those which are unique in satisfying the highest standards of empirical success in a mature field with many successful but falsified predecessors. I argue that taking our best theories to be true is (...)
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  • The Pessimistic Induction and the Exponential Growth of Science Reassessed.K. Brad Wray - 2013 - Synthese 190 (18):4321-4330.
    My aim is to evaluate a new realist strategy for addressing the pessimistic induction, Ludwig Fahrbach’s (Synthese 180:139–155, 2011) appeal to the exponential growth of science. Fahrbach aims to show that, given the exponential growth of science, the history of science supports realism. I argue that Fahrbach is mistaken. I aim to show that earlier generations of scientists could construct a similar argument, but one that aims to show that the theories that they accepted are likely true. The problem with (...)
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  • Are Unconceived Alternatives a Problem for Scientific Realism?Michael Devitt - 2011 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 42 (2):285-293.
    Stanford, in Exceeding Our Grasp , presents a powerful version of the pessimistic meta-induction. He claims that theories typically have empirically inequivalent but nonetheless well-confirmed, serious alternatives which are unconceived. This claim should be uncontroversial. But it alone is no threat to scientific realism. The threat comes from Stanford’s further crucial claim, supported by historical examples, that a theory’s unconceived alternatives are “radically distinct” from it; there is no “continuity”. A standard realist reply to the meta-induction is that past failures (...)
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  • Kuhn's Evolutionary Social Epistemology.K. Brad Wray - 2011 - Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
    Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions has been enduringly influential in philosophy of science, challenging many common presuppositions about the nature of science and the growth of scientific knowledge. However, philosophers have misunderstood Kuhn's view, treating him as a relativist or social constructionist. In this book, Brad Wray argues that Kuhn provides a useful framework for developing an epistemology of science that takes account of the constructive role that social factors play in scientific inquiry. He examines the core concepts of Structure (...)
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  • Grasping at Realist Straws. [REVIEW]Juha Saatsi, Stathis Psillos, Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther & Kyle Stanford - 2009 - Metascience 18 (3):355-390.
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  • Structural Realism: The Best of Both Worlds?John Worrall - 1989 - Dialectica 43 (1-2):99-124.
    SummaryThe main argument for scientific realism is that our present theories in science are so successful empirically that they can't have got that way by chance ‐ instead they must somehow have latched onto the blueprint of the universe. The main argument against scientific realism is that there have been enormously successful theories which were once accepted but are now regarded as false. The central question addressed in this paper is whether there is some reasonable way to have the best (...)
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  • A Confutation of Convergent Realism.Larry Laudan - 1980 - In Yuri Balashov & Alexander Rosenberg (eds.), Philosophy of Science: Contemporary Readings. Routledge. pp. 211.
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  • Baseball, Pessimistic Inductions and the Turnover Fallacy.M. Lange - 2002 - Analysis 62 (4):281-285.
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  • Baseball, Pessimistic Inductions and the Turnover Fallacy.Marc Lange - 2002 - Analysis 62 (4):281–285.
    Among the niftiest arguments for scientific anti-realism is the ‘pessimistic induction’ (also sometimes called ‘the disastrous historical meta-induction’). Although various versions of this argument differ in their details (see, for example, Poincare 1952: 160, Putnam 1978: 25, and Laudan 1981), the argument generally begins by recalling the many scientific theories that posit unobservable entities and that at one time or another were widely accepted. The anti-realist then argues that when these old theories were accepted, the evidence for them was quite (...)
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  • Reconstructing Scientific Realism to Rebut the Pessimistic Meta‐Induction.Gerald Doppelt - 2007 - Philosophy of Science 74 (1):96-118.
    This paper develops a stronger version of ‘inference-to-the-best explanation’ scientific realism. I argue against three standard assumptions of current realists: realism is confirmed if it provides the best explanation of theories’ predictive success ; the realist claim that successful theories are always approximately true provides the best explanation of their success ; and realists are committed to giving the same sort of truth-based explanation of superseded theories’ success that they give to explain our best current theories’ success. On the positive (...)
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  • The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Kuhn Thomas - 1962 - International Encyclopedia of Unified Science 2 (2).
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  • Progress and Its Problems: Toward a Theory of Scientific Growth.Larry Laudan - 1980 - Erkenntnis 15 (1):91-103.
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  • The Advancement of Science: Science Without Legend, Objectivity Without Illusions.Philip Kitcher - 1996 - Erkenntnis 44 (3):379-395.
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  • Scientific Realism Without Reference.Pierre Cruse & David Papineau - 2002 - In Michele Marsonet (ed.), The Problem of Realism. Ashgate. pp. 174--189.
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