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The Relativity of Theory

Key Positions and Arguments in the Contemporary Scientific Realism/Antirealism Debate

Serie: Synthese Library 431

This book offers a close and rigorous examination of the arguments for and against scientific realism and introduces key positions in the scientific realism/antirealism debate, which is one of the central debates in contemporary philosophy of science. Les mer
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Om boka

This book offers a close and rigorous examination of the arguments for and against scientific realism and introduces key positions in the scientific realism/antirealism debate, which is one of the central debates in contemporary philosophy of science. On the one hand, scientific realists argue that we have good reasons to believe that our best scientific theories are approximately true because, if they were not even approximately true, they would not be able to explain and predict natural phenomena with such impressive accuracy. On the other hand, antirealists argue that the success of science does not warrant belief in the approximate truth of our best scientific theories. This is because the history of science is a graveyard of theories that were once successful but were later discarded. The author eventually settles on a middle-ground position between scientific realism and antirealism called "relative realism".

Fakta

Innholdsfortegnelse

Preface
1. Introduction1.1. An Argumentation Approach to the Scientific Realism/Antirealism Debate1.2. Just the Arguments1.3. Chapter Summary1.4. Chapter Glossary1.5. References and Further Readings
2. Realism versus Antirealism in Contemporary Philosophy of Science2.1. The Three Dimensions of Scientific Realism2.2. "Just Say No" (to Case Studies)2.3. Chapter Summary2.4. Chapter Glossary2.5. References and Further Readings
3. Key Positions in the Contemporary Scientific Realism/Antirealism Debate3.1. Explanationist Realism3.2. Instrumentalism3.3. Constructive Empiricism3.4. Entity Realism3.5. Structural Realism3.6. Chapter Summary3.7. Chapter Glossary3.8. References and Further Readings
4. Key Arguments for Scientific Realism4.1. The Positive Argument for Scientific Realism4.2. The Slippery Slope Argument for Instrumental Observation4.3. The Argument from Observability In Principle4.4. The Argument from Corroboration4.5. The Argument from the Exponential Growth of Science4.6. Chapter Summary4.7. Chapter Glossary4.8. References and Further Readings
5. Key Arguments against Scientific Realism5.1. The "Graveyard" Argument5.2. The Positive Argument for Constructive Empiricism5.3. The Underconsideration Argument5.4. The Argument from Unconceived Alternatives5.5. The Argument from Changing Research Interests5.6. Chapter Summary5.7. Chapter Glossary5.8. References and Further Readings
6. Relative Realism: The Best of Both Worlds6.1. Approximate Truth versus Comparative Truth6.2. The Kuhnian Argument from the Illusive Truth of Whole Theories6.3. The Argument from the Comparative Evaluation of Theories6.4. The Argument from the Relative Success of Theories6.5. Comparing Comparative Realism and Relative Realism6.6. Relative Realism as a Middle Ground Position6.7. Chapter Summary6.8. Chapter Glossary6.9. References and Further Readings
GlossaryIndex

Om forfatteren

Moti Mizrahi is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Florida Institute of Technology. He is the editor of The Kuhnian Image of Science: Time for a Decisive Transformation? (Rowman & Littlefield, 2018). He is an Associate and Book Reviews Editor of Philosophia (Springer). He has published extensively on the philosophy of science, the scientific realism/antirealism debate, the epistemology of philosophy, and argumentation. His work has appeared in journals such as Argumentation, Erkenntnis, Philosophical Studies, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, and Synthese.