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scientific realism vs antirealism

(Two things about PUA are worth noting. Instead, for example, the 180º measurement could also be accommodated by presupposing that light rays traverse shortest paths in spherical space but are disturbed by a force, so that physical space is “really” non-Euclidean: the true angle-sum of the triangle is greater than 180º, but the disturbing force makes it “appear” that space is Euclidean and the angle-sum of the triangle is 180º. Putnam, H. (2015), “Naturalism, Realism, and Normativity”, Journal of the American Philosophical Association 1(2), 312-328. Intelligibility, not truth, is the goal of theoretical explanation. But structure alone (without auxiliary hypotheses describing non-structural features of the world) never suffices to derive new empirical content. Realists tend to be optimistic; antirealists do not. How could this be, if the radical interpretation of Kuhn were correct? For some T-T* sequences in mathematical physics, there are limit theorems whereby T can be derived as a special case of T* under appropriate limiting conditions. This approach presupposes a problematic distinction between acquaintance and description and a problematic isomorphism between the percept and causal-entity structures. Email: mnliston@uwm.edu The very strong, very general conclusion of EET, however, depends on the very strong, very general Premise 3, which, critics argue, is typically supported either by “toy” examples of theory-pairs from the history of physics, by contrived examples of theories, one of which is transformed from the other by a general algorithm (Kukla 1998), or by some tricks of formal logic or mathematics. (2) Scientific uses of IBE are grounded in, and are just sophisticated applications of, a principle we use in everyday inferential practice. For them, there are only analytic a priori truths (all pure mathematics, for example) and synthetic a posteriori truths (all statements to the effect that a given claim is verified). Intuitively, truth* and reference* are not truth and reference but gerrymandered relations that mimic truth-in-M and refers-in-M, where M can be entirely arbitrary, provided it has enough objects in its domain. New York: Dover. Scientific Realism vs. Anti-Realism. Realism vs. the ism’s • Historicism Two concepts can only be understood in correctly historicized manner - from the perspectives of the paradigms in which they occur Kuhn brought this ism about with “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” Antirealism due … This week we will again debate a controversial issue together in class. Thus SR3 (and correspondence truth) is either vacuous or unintelligible. (ii) The conjunction objection: in practice we conjoin theories we accept. For EStR to be a realist position, it will not suffice to say: we can know only observable objects (like Obama) and their (observable) structural relations; we must be agnostic about unobservable objects and their relations. Yet CE can preserve the spirit of positivism by holding that we can never have reason to believe a theory; at most we have reason to believe it is empirically adequate. Musgrave, A. More a movement than a position, the positivists adopted a set of philosophical stances: pro-science (including pro-verification and pro-observation) and anti-metaphysics (including anti-cause, anti-explanation, anti-theoretical entities). Realists add to the core position the redundant word “REALLY”: “electrons REALLY exist”. A big problem with this response is that referential continuity does not suffice for partial or approximate truth (Laudan 1984; Psillos 1999). Underlying ontology need not be (and is not) preserved in theory change, but the mathematical structure is both preserved and improved upon: Fresnel’s correct claims about the structure of light (as a wave phenomenon) were retained in later theories, while his incorrect claims about the nature of light (as a mechanical vibration in a mechanical medium, the ether) were later discarded. Carnap, R. (1956), “The Methodological Character of Theoretical Concepts”, in H. Feigl and M. Scriven (eds), Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science I, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Continuity of reference of the kind advocated by Putnam may be too crude. During periods of normal science, practitioners subscribe to a paradigm. To many this move seems fallacious—if “successful” means correct, then the truth of the former follows as much as the existence of the latter; if “successful” does not mean correct, then neither follows. IBE is a rule guiding rational choice among rival hypotheses. Nothing about successful theoretical explanations, she claims, requires their truth, whereas successful causal explanations require the existence of the cause. Once one accepts that science delivers truths and explanations, it is natural to ask what that means, and realist and antirealist replies will naturally ensue—as they always have, since these interpretations are as old as philosophy itself.

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