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Topic: Scientific realism

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In the News (Tue 19 Mar 19)

  Scientific realism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Scientific realism is a view in the philosophy of science about the nature of scientific success, an answer to the question "what does the success of science involve?" The debate over what the success of science involves centers primarily on the status of unobservable entities (objects, process and events) apparently talked about by scientific theories.
Scientific realism is developed largely as a reaction to Logical positivism.
Also against scientific realism social constructivists point out that scientific realism is unable to account for the rapid change that occurs in scientific knowledge during periods of revolution.
en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Scientific_realism   (957 words)

 The Incompatibility of Naturalism and Scientific Realism: Koons, Robert.
I claim that the triad of scientific realism (SR), representational naturalism (RN), and ontological naturalism (ON) is inconsistent, given the theses of the pervasiveness of the simplicity criterion in our scientific practices (PS) and the essentiality of reliability as a component of naturalistic accounts of knowledge and intentionality.
Malcolm Forster and Elliott Sober offer a justification of the scientific preference for simplicity that seems to be compatible with scientific realism and yet which does not acknowledge any sense in which simplicity is a reliable indicator of the truth.
Scientific anti-realism, when combined with meta-philosophical naturalism, leads to the conclusion of philosophical anti-realism, since philosophical theories are, according to metaphilosophical naturalism, merely a species of scientific theories.
www.leaderu.com /orgs/arn/koons/rk_incompatibilitynatreal.htm   (5595 words)

 Naïve realism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In the philosophy of perception naïve realism is the belief that the world is exactly as it appears.
Naive Realism is characteristic of children before they discover that what they are actually seeing is based on two, disparate images in their eyes which are translated into electrical impulses in their brain where a single percept is resolved.
Naïve realism is also used as a synonym for realism, the belief that physical objects continue to exist when they are no longer perceived.
en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Naive_realism   (157 words)

 Lecture 17
Scientific realism offers a certain characterization of what a scientific theory is, and what it means to "accept" a scientific theory.
A scientific realist holds that (1) science aims to give us, in its theories, a literally true story of what the world is like, and that (2) acceptance of a scientific theory involves the belief that it is true.
That is because scientific realism as just described asserts two things, that scientific theories (1) should be understood as literal descriptions of the what the world is like, and (2) so construed, a successful scientific theory is one that is true.
www.soc.iastate.edu /sapp/phil_sci_lecture17.html   (1429 words)

 Scientific Realism
Scientific realists hold that the characteristic product of successful scientific research is knowledge of largely theory-independent phenomena and that such knowledge is possible (indeed actual) even in those cases in which the relevant phenomena are not, in any non-question-begging sense, observable.
Scientific realism is thus the common sense (or common science) conception that, subject to a recognition that scientific methods are fallible and that most scientific knowledge is approximate, we are justified in accepting the most secure findings of scientists "at face value."
Scientific realism is, by the lights of most of its defenders, the sciences' own philosophy of science.
plato.stanford.edu /entries/scientific-realism   (8965 words)

 The Incompatibility of Naturalism and Scientific Realism
The rehabilitation of causation and modal realism in recent analytic philosophy have made possible the revival of the argument from contingency to the existence of a necessary first cause.
In Realism Regained, I provide a number of arguments for thinking that this is mistaken: that we do, in fact, have experience of the causal efficacy of atemporal situations (such as the situations that support the holding of certain natural laws).
As we successfully build scientific models that stretch across astronomical and geological time, we confirm that situation-tokens across a wide swath of degrees of necessity have causes that are strictly more necessary than themselves.
www.leaderu.com /offices/koons/docs/defeasible.html   (3513 words)

 Ralph Dumain: "The Autodidact Project": Igor Naletov: "Alternatives to Positivism": "Scientific Realism". Metaphysics ...
It is noteworthy that “realism” connects the revival of ontology as a philosophical doctrine of being and as a philosophical explication of the properties, objects and relations of the external world with the recognition of the external world, i.e.
“scientific realism” as a whole regards the ontology of mental processes and, for that matter, ontology at large as a peculiar projection of scientific knowledge on the outer world, as a certain theoretical assumption which follows of necessity from the adopted system of scientific knowledge.
Scientific metaphysics which is identified with ontology by most of the “scientific realists” should in fact be regarded as a sphere of general scientific or metatheoretical research.
www.autodidactproject.org /other/naletov13.html   (7535 words)

 Thomas Kuhn: Revolution Against Scientific Realism*
Although scientific knowledge was not held to be certain, it was assumed that with each new discovery science moved a step closer to representing accurately physical reality.
A scientific theory is usually felt to be better than its predecessors not only in the sense that it is a better instrument for discovering and solving puzzles but also because it is somehow a better representation of what nature is really like.
The inability to return to scientific realism suggests a tripartite division of the history of science, with a period of scientific realism fitting between two periods in which there is no insistence that theory correspond to reality.
history.hanover.edu /hhr/94/hhr94_4.html   (2791 words)

 [No title]
Without adopting realism concerning the entities, processes and theoretical laws of mature and successful contemporary scientific theories, we are left with no explanation for scientific accomplishments (such as our remarkable ability to predict the outcome of certain quantum phenomena to ten decimal places).
To the extent that scientific realism is a view that is supposed to apply to all sciences across the board, structural realism is a form that fails precisely because it is limited to only the mathematical sciences.
Ramsey-Sentence Realism Although they themselves do not directly offer a response to the pessimistic meta-induction, Pierre Cruse and David Papineau defend a form of epistemic structural realism by claiming that on one interpretation of the realist thesis, the referential status of theoretical terms is irrelevant.
philsci-archive.pitt.edu /archive/00001975/01/Ramsey_Sentence_Realism_as_an_answer_to_the_Pessimistic_Meta-Induction.doc   (4694 words)

 Contingent Scientific Realism and Instrumentalism
There are many versions of scientific realism but Wilfrid Sellars put forth a position that appears to have the status of a received view.
One of the main problems with many versions of scientific realism or instrumentalist is that they are global positions attempting to argue that science is one or the other, whereas questions of existence or reality should be addressed on a case by case basis.
Questlons of the reality of this or that phenomenon is a contingent matter.
www.ditext.com /lashchyk/noa-e.html   (1078 words)

 The Compatibility of Naturalism and Scientific Realism   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-11-04)
However, the Scientific Revolution had established by the middle 1800s that physics, chemistry, astronomy, meteorology, and physiology could be understood in naturalistic terms.
By scientific realism, I intend a thesis that includes both a semantic and an epistemological component.
Koons' thesis is essentially that it must be a supernatural coincidence that science succeeds in dealing with the "real world." The "real world" indeed tends to reward one for choosing a worldview based on parsimonious consistency with evidence (i.e.
www.infidels.org /library/modern/brian_holtz/naturalism.shtml   (3686 words)

 Scientific Realism
It is meant to make scientific realism distinct from all those anti-realist accounts of science, be they traditional idealist and phenomenalist, or the more modern verificationist accounts of Michael Dummett;s and late Hilary Putnam's, which reduce the content of the world to whatever gets licensed by a set of epistemic practices and conditions.
The second thesis, which is the essence of semantic realism, makes scientific realism different from eliminative instrumentalist and reductive empiricist accounts, (which will be analysed in chapters 1 and 2).
The third thesis of scientific realism, which might be called 'epistemic optimism', is meant to distinguish it from agnostic or sceptical versions of empiricism.
www.cc.uoa.gr /dhps/postgrad1/profs/scientific_realism.htm   (1166 words)

 Contingent Scientific Realism and Instrumentalism
One of them is to define physical reality to be composed of a set of all objects that are, in principle, within reach of man's experimental knowledge (directly or through the medium of theories).
A conception according to which it is intrinsically impossible to describe independent reality as it really is even by making use of nonfamiliar concepts such as concepts derived from mathematical algorithms.
By "near realism" Espagnat means any vision of the world in which all the elements of reality are supposed to be adequately descibed by notions such as Democritus' atoms or the objects around us.
www.ditext.com /lashchyk/noa-c.html   (5074 words)

 Milan Brglez   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-11-04)
Neither scientific realism nor social constructivism makes much sense in conjunction with positivist methodology, which is ontologically predominantly anti-realist and epistemologically objectivist.
The combination Wendt proposes is thus either a particular positivist variation of scientific realism or a particular positivist variation of social constructivism, and strips scientific realism and social constructivism of their more radical consequences for understanding and explaining international relations.
Thus, the fact that he dares to speak about the reality “out there” should not be discarded too easily, and some proposals are developed throughout the text on how to accommodate such a claim – always conjectural – with scientific realism and social constructivism.
www.fdv.uni-lj.si /JIRD/backissu/jird/vol4/brglez.htm   (220 words)

Realism denotes two distinct sets of philosophical theories, one regarding the nature of universal concepts and the other dealing with knowledge of objects in the world.
In late - classical and medieval philosophy, realism was a development of the Platonic theory of Forms and held, generally, that universals such as "red" or "man" have an independent, objective existence, either in a realm of their own or in the mind of God.
Medieval realism is usually contrasted with Nominalism, and the classic critiques of realism from this point of view were provided by Peter Abelard and William of Occam.
mb-soft.com /believe/txc/realism.htm   (770 words)

 Scientific realism and antirealism   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-11-04)
Sometimes realism becomes highly selective in other ways; for example, only looking at what seems essential in specific cases of explanatory or predictive success, or at entities that stand out as supported by only the very best scientific evidence.
He could then allow scientific claims to be true in their proper domain but deny that they tell the whole story, or even that there is a whole story to tell.
Realism accepts good science as true of an observer-independent world; internal realism accepts it as true relative to our scheme of things; constructive empiricism accepts it only as empirically adequate.
www.work-at-home-profits.com /scientic.htm   (2022 words)

 Amazon.com: Studies in Scientific Realism: Books: Andr'e Kukla   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-11-04)
In trying to keep his text as a birds-eye view of the scientific realism / antirealism debate in the philosophy of science, he often is left saying that this-or-that issue (I paraphrase) "is beyond the scope of our present concerns".
The scientific antirealist would have us believe that we can never know things about electrons, but only that we can use their concept as a tool for making predictions.
In the end Kukla makes a persuasive argument that the debate is irresolvable, that the antirealist can always offer their `observable-only' version of our scientific theories but that there is also no way for the antirealist to show their account to be rationally preferable.
www.amazon.com /exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0195118650?v=glance   (714 words)

 The Scientific Philosophy of Mario Bunge
This kind of clarification may be analytic or synthetic: it may consist either in the analysis or reduction of conceptual entities (concepts, propositions, theories), or in the construction of such entities.
It is intended moreover to be both exact and scientific: exact in the sense that the theories composing it have a definite mathematical structure, and scientific in that these theories be consistent with and moreover rather close to science - or rather the bulk of science.
This synthesis may be called scientific realism because the criterion for adopting or rejecting any given thesis is its compatibility or incompatibility with the practice of research in contemporary science (basic or applied), technology, or the humanities.
www.formalontology.it /bungem.htm   (6466 words)

 Diary of a Studio Owner
A particularly familiar (and formidable) version of a theory of objects is held by the scientific realist, who adds that those objects out there, with which we sometimes collide, and at other times collude, are the objects described by physical science—tables, chairs, and ultimately protons, neutrons, and things of that sort.
It is the belief of the scientific realist that he trips over these hard, immutable pieces of bed rock in the formulation of his scientific theories, and that the world is constituted the way these theories say as a matter of scientific fact.
Microphysical entities are known only via their properties, where these properties are never inspectable themselves, but are predicated of the scientific object by certain theories.
www.studiowner.com /essays/essay.asp?books=0&pagnum=41   (974 words)

 Lecture 18
Last time, I ended the lecture by alluding to an argument for scientific realism that proceeded from the premise that the reasoning rule of inference to the best explanation exists.
The scientific realist argues that the fact that the reality of molecules explains the convergence on Avogadro's number better than its rival, that the world is not really molecular but that everything behaves as if it were.
To refer to the example we discussed the last session, the scientific realist argues that if this reasoning pattern good for the detective work that infers the presence of an unseen mouse, it is good enough for the detective work that infers the presence of unseen constituents of matter.
www.soc.iastate.edu /sapp/phil_sci_lecture18.html   (1393 words)

 Amazon.com: Scientific Realism and the Plasticity of Mind (Cambridge Studies in Philosophy): Books: Paul M. ...   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-11-04)
Beginning with the premise of scientific realism (explained clearly in the first six pages), Churchland aims at little less than a 'transvaluation of all values'.
A study in the philosophy of science, proposing a strong form of the doctrine of scientific realism' and developing its implications for issues in the philosophy of mind.
The common opinion concerning scientific knowledge and theoretical understanding - of molecules, of stars, of nuclei and electro-magnetic waves - is that it is of a kind very different from our knowledge of apples, and tables, and kitchen pots and sand.
www.amazon.com /exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0521338271?v=glance   (1101 words)

 HISTORY, INDIA, Philosophical development, Upanishads, Scientific Realism, Logic, Epistemology, Buddhism, Jainism
The Nyaya school identified various types of arguments that hindered or obstructed the path of genuine scientific pursuit, suggesting perhaps, that there may have been considerable practical resistance to their unstinting devotion to truth-seeking and scientific accuracy.
In this manner, the Nyaya school defined a very sophisticated school of rational philosophy where the process of scientific epistemology was analyzed threadbare and all the dangers of unscientific reasoning and propaganda ploys were skillfully exposed.
Virtually all the rational schools were concerned with describing causality and causal relationships, and recognized that effects may not have single causes but may require a group or conjunction of causes to occur.
members.tripod.com /~INDIA_RESOURCE/upanishad.html   (3049 words)

 Contingent Scientific Realism and Instrumentalism
One way to determine the strengths and weaknesses of a philosophical or scientific theory is to see how well it holds up against a well developed philosophical position.
Having an epistemological or metaphysical position is the best launching pad for a critique of some concepts within a philosophical or scientific theory.
Einstein's requirements for an adequate theory in science initiated a research program and a search for a scientific theory that would replace the probabilistic laws of quantum mechanics.
www.ditext.com /lashchyk/noa-d.html   (845 words)

 Scientific Realism
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One further point about real essences is important.
is compatible with either 1., or 3., or with standard logical empiricist and scientific realist conceptions.
www.science.uva.nl /~seop/archives/fall2004/entries/scientific-realism   (8968 words)

 Oxford Scholarship Online: Critical Scientific Realism   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-11-04)
According to the standard version of scientific realism, scientific theories are attempts to give true descriptions of mind-independent and possibly unobservable reality, where truth means correspondence between language and reality.
Niiniluoto combines Tarski's semantic definition of truth with his own explication of Popper's notion of verisimilitude, and characterizes scientific progress in terms of increasing truthlikeness.
He argues in detail that critical scientific realism can be successfully defended against its most important current alternatives: instrumentalism, constructive empiricism, Kantianism, pragmatism, internal realism, relativism, social constructivism, and epistemological anarchism.
www.oxfordscholarship.com /oso/public/content/philosophy/0199251614/toc.html   (168 words)

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