Scientific Realism

Edited by Howard Sankey (University of Melbourne)
Assistant editor: Zili Dong
About this topic
Summary Scientific realism is primarily a view about theoretical science.  According to a classic (or "standard") form of scientific realism, the unobservable "theoretical" entities postulated by scientific theories (e.g. atoms, electrons) are real and theoretical claims about those entities are true or approximately true.  Scientific realism contrasts with commonsense realism, which is realism about the observable entities of the ordinary, everyday world.  Scientific realism may be combined with commonsense realism, though some philosophers take there to be a conflict between science and common sense, which may make it difficult to reconcile the two doctrines.  Some scientific realists ("entity realists") emphasise the reality of theoretical entities while downplaying or avoiding altogether talk of the truth of theories.  Some scientific realists (e.g. "structural realists") downplay or reject the reality of theoretical entities while emphasising structural aspects of theory or reality. Some anti-realists (e.g. "constructive empiricists") admit commonsense realism while rejecting or withholding judgment about scientific realism.  The classic opponent of scientific realism ("instrumentalism") denies that theoretical discourse about theoretical entities is to be interpreted in literal fashion, instead taking the latter to be fictitious entities which play at most a role in prediction at the observational level.  The major argument for scientific realism is the "success argument" (also known as the "no miracles argument" and the "ultimate argument") that scientific realism is the best explanation of the success of science.  Scientific realists who emphasize truth in their formulation of the view require an account of approximate truth or verisimilitude because they tend to see science as progressing toward truth rather than having already reached the final truth about the world (this view is sometimes known as "convergent realism").  The main arguments against scientific realism are that the truth of theory is radically underdetermined by empirical data and the so-called "pessimistic induction" from the falsity of past theories to the likely falsity of current theories.  An important response to the latter objection is that scientific realists should only take specific parts of theories to be true or approximately true rather than take the entirety of a theory to be true or approximately true (so-called "deployment realism"). 
Key works Ian Hacking's book, Representing and Intervening Hacking 1983, provides general discussion of the issues relating to scientific realism, emphasising entity realism.  Stathis Psillos's book, Scientific Realism: How Science Tracks Truth Psillos 1999, also provides general coverage, while developing a deployment realist approach. Two important collections are Jarrett Leplin (ed.) Scientific Realism Leplin 1984, and the more recent Routledge Handbook of Scientific Realism edited by Juha Saatsi Saatsi 2017.  Larry Laudan's paper, 'A Confutation of Convergent Realism', presents criticism of scientific realism that is sometimes understood as a pessimistic induction Laudan 1981.  Bas van Fraassen's book, The Scientific Image Van Fraassen Bas 1980, presents criticism of scientific realism and articulates the constructive empiricist form of anti-realism.  For development of structural realism, see John Worrall, 'Structural Realism: The Best of Both Worlds?' Worrall 1989 and James Ladyman 'What is Structural Realism?' Ladyman 1998.
Introductions See Michael Devitt's entry on scientific realism in The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary PhilosophyDevitt 2005 and Anjan Chakravartty's entry on scientific realism in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Chakravartty 2013.  For a quite basic introduction to scientific realism, see Howard Sankey, 'What is Scientific Realism?' Sankey 2000, which is also available in French translation Sankey 2002.
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  1. Physicists’ views on scientific realism.Céline Henne, Hannah Tomczyk & Christoph Sperber - 2024 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 14 (1):1-27.
    Do physicists believe that general relativity is true, and that electrons and phonons exist, and if so, in what sense? To what extent does the spectrum of positions among physicists correspond to philosophical positions like scientific realism, instrumentalism, or perspectivism? Does agreement with these positions correlate with demographic factors, and are realist physicists more likely to support research projects purely aimed at increasing knowledge? We conducted a questionnaire study to scrutinize the philosophical stances of physicists. We received responses from 384 (...)
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  2. Jean-Michel Berthelot. L’Emprise du vrai. Connaissance scientifique et modernité. [REVIEW]Dominique Raynaud - 2010 - L'Année Sociologique 60:191-207.
  3. Les déterminations de la vitesse de la lumière (1676–1983). Étude de sociologie internaliste des sciences.Dominique Raynaud - 2013 - L'Année Sociologique 63 (2):359-398.
    Cet article se propose de contribuer au débat sur les méthodes de la sociologie des sciences à partir d’une étude empirique des déterminations de la vitesse de la lumière réalisées entre 1676 et 1983. Loin d’être construites et déconstruites à volonté, les valeurs de c ont subi un processus de révision tendanciellement unidirectionnel et irréversible. Les méthodes de détermination de c sont restées dans la course seulement quand elles étaient assorties d’une incertitude inférieure ou égale à la meilleure valeur connue. (...)
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  4. Unfamiliarity in Logic? How to Unravel McSweeney’s Dilemma for Logical Realism.Matteo Baggio - forthcoming - Acta Analytica:1-27.
    Logical realism is the metaphysical view asserting that the facts of logic exist and are mind-and-language independent. McSweeney argues that if logical realism is true, we encounter a dilemma. Either we cannot determine which of the two logically equivalent theories holds a fundamental status, or neither theory can be considered fundamental. These two conclusions together constitute what is known as the Unfamiliarity Dilemma, which poses significant challenges to our understanding of the epistemological and metaphysical features of logic. In this article, (...)
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  5. Natural Kinds (Cambridge Elements in Philosophy of Science).Muhammad Ali Khalidi - 2023 - Cambridge University Press.
    Scientists cannot devise theories, construct models, propose explanations, make predictions, or even carry out observations, without first classifying their subject matter. The goal of scientific taxonomy is to come up with classification schemes that conform to nature's own. Another way of putting this is that science aims to devise categories that correspond to 'natural kinds.' The interest in ascertaining the real kinds of things in nature is as old as philosophy itself, but it takes on a different guise when one (...)
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  6. Kosmovisionen und Realitäten: die Philosophie jedes einzelnen (3rd edition).Roberto Arruda (ed.) - 2023 - Sao Paulo: Terra à Vista.
    Nicht durch das Denken erschaffen wir Welten. Indem wir die Welt verstehen, lernen wir zu denken. Kosmovision ist ein Begriff, der eine Reihe von Grundlagen bedeuten sollte, aus denen ein systemisches Verständnis des Universums, seiner Bestandteile als Leben, der Welt, in der wir leben, der Natur, des menschlichen Phänomens und ihrer Beziehungen hervorgehen sollte. Es handelt sich also um ein von den Wissenschaften gespeistes Feld der analytischen Philosophie, deren Ziel dieses aggregierte und erkenntnistheoretisch nachhaltige Wissen über alles ist, was wir (...)
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  7. The Simplicity of Physical Laws.Eddy Keming Chen - manuscript
    Physical laws are strikingly simple, although there is no a priori reason they must be so. I propose that nomic realists of all types (Humeans and non-Humeans) should accept that simplicity is a fundamental epistemic guide for discovering and evaluating candidate physical laws. This principle of simplicity clarifies and addresses several problems of nomic realism and simplicity. A consequence is that the oft-cited epistemic advantage of Humeanism over non-Humeanism disappears, undercutting an influential epistemological argument for Humeanism. Moreover, simplicity is shown (...)
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  8. Scientific Understanding and Representation: Modeling in the Physical Sciences.Insa Lawler, Kareem Khalifa & Elay Shech (eds.) - 2022 - New York, NY: Routledge.
    This volume brings together leading scholars working on understanding and representation in philosophy of science. It features a critical conversation format between contributors that advances debates concerning scientific understanding, scientific representation, and their delicate interplay.
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  9. Bilim Metafiziğinde İki Yaklaşım: Bilimsel Gerçekçilik ile Gerçekçilik Karşıtlığı Üzerine.Ömer Fatih Tekin - forthcoming - Beytulhikme An International Journal of Philosophy.
    In this paper, the scientific realism/anti-realism debate, which is one of the most popular topics in the metaphysics of science, will be examined in supporting the realistic wing. In this respect, the discussion will be conducted by keeping the subjects of ‘existence of an external mind-independent world’ and ‘unobservable entities’ at the center of this paper. In the context of understanding the world, ‘Science’ activity is not the sum of the research carried out only by considering empirical data; on the (...)
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  10. Lebenswelt und Wissenschaft. Zum Spannungsverhältnis zweier Erfahrungsweisen.Gregor Schiemann - 2021 - Berlin: De Gruyter.
    Das Verhältnis von Lebenswelt und Wissenschaft befindet sich mit ungewissem Ausgang in stetiger Bewegung. In diesem Prozess ist das treibende Element die Wissenschaft, die Technisierungen ermöglicht und mit ihren Erkenntnissen die Welt überzieht. Trotz der fortschreitenden Verwissenschaftlichung hat sich die Lebenswelt jedoch ihre Eigenständigkeit bewahrt. Die vorliegenden Studien tragen zur Aufklärung dieses erstaunlichen Phänomens bei. Sie weisen Strukturdifferenzen der beiden Erfahrungsweisen auf und zeigen, wie sie mit- und gegeneinander existieren. Zugleich wird deutlich, dass ein Ende der lebensweltlichen Eigenständigkeit einen fundamentalen (...)
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  11. Mεtascience: Scientific General Discourse - No. 2 - Metascientific Ontology.François Maurice - 2022 - Mεtascience: Scientific General Discourse 2:1-260.
    [This is the complete issue of the second issue of Mɛtascience] -/- This second issue of the journal Mεtascience continues the char acterization of this new branch of knowledge that is metasci ence. If it is new, it is not in a radical sense since Mario Bunge practiced it in an exemplary way, since logical positivists were accused of practicing only a mere metascience, since scientists have always practiced it implicitly, and since some philosophers no longer practice philosophy but rather (...)
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  12. Levels of the world. Limits and extensions of Nicolai hartmann’s and Werner heisenberg’s conceptions of levels.Gregor Schiemann - 2019 - HORIZON. Studies in Phenomenology 8 (1):103-122.
    The conception that the world can be represented as a system of levels of being can be traced back to the beginnings of European philosophy and has lost little of its plausibility in the meantime. One of the important modern conceptions of levels was developed by Nicolai Hartmann. It exhibits remarkable similarities and contrasts with the classification of the real developed by Werner Heisenberg in his paper Ordnung der Wirklichkeit (Order of Reality). In my contribution I will introduce these two (...)
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  13. Mehr Seinsschichten für die Welt? Vergleich und Kritik der Schichtenkonzeptionen von Nicolai Hartmann und Werner Heisenberg.Gregor Schiemann - 2012 - In M. Wunsch & G. Hartung (eds.), Nicolai Hartmann – Von der Systemphilosophie zur Systemetischen Philosophie. De Gruyter. pp. 85-104.
    Ich thematisiere die beiden Konzeptionen als Varianten der wissenschaftlichen Weltsicht. Der Reiz des Vergleichs liegt aber weniger in den Gemeinsamkeiten als vielmehr in den Differenzen und den dabei hervortretenden Desideraten der beiden Konzeptionen. Heisenberg versteht sein Schichtenmodell nicht wie Hartmann als Fortsetzung und Zusammenfassung vorangehender philosophischer Bemühungen, sondern als einen Bruch mit den Hauptströmungen der philosophischen Tradition. In der geschichtlichen Entwicklung der Versuche um eine Bestimmung der Weltstruktur sieht er statt einer Generaltendenz, die langfristig auf eine Annäherung an die Wahrheit (...)
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  14. Werner Heisenberg.Gregor Schiemann - 2008 - C.H. Beck.
    Gregor Schiemann führt allgemeinverständlich in das Denken dieses Physikers ein. Thema sind die Erfahrungen und Überlegungen, die Heisenberg zu seinen theoretischen Erkenntnissen geführt haben, die wesentlichen Inhalte dieser Erkenntnisse sowie die Konsequenzen, die er daraus für die Geschichte der Physik und das wissenschaftliche Weltbild gezogen hat. Heisenbergs Vorstellungswelt durchzieht durch ein Spannungsverhältnis, das heute noch das Denken vieler Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler bewegt. Er ist um ein umfassendes Verständnis der Naturprozesse bemüht, zugleich aber von der Berechenbarkeit und Beherrschbarkeit von Phänomenen auch (...)
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Varieties of Scientific Realism
  1. Realismo y antirrealismo científicos, stances en desacuerdo.Ignacio Madroñal - 2023 - Revista Colombiana de Filosofía de la Ciencia 23 (46):11-40.
    En este trabajo, nos proponemos redefinir las posturas que toman parte en el debate entre realismo y antirrealismo científicos, dejando de concebirlas únicamente como doctrinas o teorías que describen cómo es el mundo. En cambio, acorde al camino iniciado por van Fraassen en The empirical stance, optamos por definirlas como stances: políticas, estrategias o perspectivas a partir de las cuales construimos creencias fácticas. Así, en primera instancia nos dedicamos a entender qué es una stance y cómo caracterizar esta noción. En (...)
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  2. Desacuerdos profundos sobre ontología científica.Bruno Borge, Sasha D'Onofrio & Ignacio Madroñal - 2022 - Cuadernos de Filosofía 1 (40):139-156.
    Los desacuerdos acerca de la ontología científica han sido frecuentemente reconstruidos como el resultado de una disputa entre stances epistémicas rivales. En el presente trabajo, (i) caracterizamos algunos de estos desacuerdos como desacuerdos profundos. Además, (ii) mostramos que los desacuerdos profundos sobre ontología científica pueden surgir no solo de la adopción de diferentes stances epistémicas, sino entre posiciones que se encuadran dentro de una misma stance. El desarrollo de ese punto nos permite, a su vez, establecer una distinción entre tipos (...)
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  3. Get Real! A new pragmatist vision for the philosophy of science. [REVIEW]David J. Stump - 2023 - Metascience:1-5.
    Essay review of Hasok Chang, Realism for Realistic People: A New Pragmatist Philosophy of Science.
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  4. Realism, Antirealism, and Theoretical Conservatism.Luca Tambolo & Gustavo Cevolani - 2023 - Synthese 1 (201):1-18.
    This paper contributes to the debate on the question of whether a systematic connection obtains between one’s commitment to realism or antirealism and one’s attitude towards the possibility of radical theoretical novelty, namely, theory change affecting our best, most successful theories (see, e.g., Stanford in Synthese 196:3915–3932, 2019; Dellsén in Stud Hist Philos Sci 76:30–38, 2019). We argue that it is not allegiance to realism or antirealism as such that primarily dictates one’s response to the possibility of radical theoretical novelty: (...)
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  5. Desacuerdos Profundos Sobre Ontología Científica.Bruno Borge, Sasha D. ́Onofrio & Ignacio Madroñal - 2022 - Cuadernos de Filosofía: Universidad de Concepción 40:139-156.
    Disagreements about scientific ontology have frequently been reconstructed as the result of a dispute between rival epistemic stances. In this paper, (i) we characterize some of these disagreements as deep disagreements. In addition, we show that deep disagreements about scientific ontology can arise not only from the adoption of different epistemic stances, but also between positions that fall within the same stance. The development of this point allows us, in turn, to establish a distinction between types of deep disagreement and (...)
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  6. Modest Scientific Realism and Belief in Astronomical Entities.Simon Allzén - unknown
    One of the core charges against explanationist scientific realism is that is too epistemically optimistic. Taking the charge seriously, some realists offer alternative forms of scientific realism – semi-realism and theoretical irrealism – designed to be more modestin their epistemic claims. In this paper, I consider two cases in cosmology and astrophysics that raise novel issues for both views: semi-realism is argued to end up making astrophysics metaphysically inflated when confronted with cases regarding the existence and evolution of galaxies and (...)
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  7. Middle path realism and anti-realism: Timothy D. Lyons, Peter Vickers (Eds.): Contemporary scientific realism: The challenge from the history of science. New York: Oxford University Press, 2021, 387 pp, $105 HB. [REVIEW]Elay Shech - 2022 - Metascience 31 (2):175-178.
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  8. Realism for Realistic People: A New Pragmatist Philosophy of Science.Hasok Chang - 2022 - Cambridge University Press.
    In this innovative book, Hasok Chang constructs a philosophy of science for 'realistic people' interested in understanding and promoting the actual practices of inquiry in science and other knowledge-focused areas of life. Inspired by pragmatist philosophy, he reconceives the very notions of reality and truth on the basis of his concept of the 'operational coherence' of epistemic activities, and offers new pragmatist conceptions of truth and reality as operational ideals achievable in actual scientific practice. Rejecting the version of scientific realism (...)
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  9. Different Ways to be a Realist: A Response to Pincock.Angela Potochnik - forthcoming - In Kareem Khalifa, Insa Lawler & Elay Shech (eds.), Scientific Understanding and Representation: Modeling in the Physical Sciences.
    In his chapter in this volume, Christopher Pincock develops an argument for scientific realism based on scientific understanding, and he argues that Giere’s (2006) and my (2017, 2020) commitment to the context-dependence of scientific understanding or knowledge renders our views unable to account for an essential step in how scientists come to know. Meanwhile, in my chapter in this volume, I motivate a view that I call "causal pattern realism." In this response to Pincock's chapter, I will sketch a revised (...)
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  10. Against ‘functional gravitational energy’: a critical note on functionalism, selective realism, and geometric objects and gravitational energy.Patrick M. Duerr - 2019 - Synthese 199 (S2):299-333.
    The present paper revisits the debate between realists about gravitational energy in GR and anti-realists/eliminativists. I re-assess the arguments underpinning Hoefer’s seminal eliminativist stance, and those of their realist detractors’ responses. A more circumspect reading of the former is proffered that discloses where the so far not fully appreciated, real challenges lie for realism about gravitational energy. I subsequently turn to Lam and Read’s recent proposals for such a realism. Their arguments are critically examined. Special attention is devoted to the (...)
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  11. Embracing Scientific Realism.Seungbae Park - 2022 - Cham: Springer.
    This book provides philosophers of science with new theoretical resources for making their own contributions to the scientific realism debate. Readers will encounter old and new arguments for and against scientific realism. They will also be given useful tips for how to provide influential formulations of scientific realism and antirealism. Finally, they will see how scientific realism relates to scientific progress, scientific understanding, mathematical realism, and scientific practice.
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  12. Nature: its conceptual architecture.Louis Caruana - 2014 - Bern: Peter Lang.
    Many philosophers adopt methods that emulate those of the natural sciences. For them, this position, which they call naturalism, defines the indispensable set of starting points for fruitful debate in various areas. In spite of this consensus, however, little is ever said about the way naturalism depends on the primary idea of nature. If we understand this dependency of naturalism on underlying accounts of nature, we would be in a better position to recognize and evaluate different kinds of naturalism. In (...)
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  13. What is Scientific Realism?Anjan Chakravartty & Bas C. Van - 2018 - Spontaneous Generations 9 (1):12-25.
    Decades of debate about scientific realism notwithstanding, we find ourselves bemused by what different philosophers appear to think it is, exactly. Does it require any sort of belief in relation to scientific theories and, if so, what sort? Is it rather typified by a certain understanding of the rationality of such beliefs? In the following dialogue we explore these questions in hopes of clarifying some convictions about what scientific realism is, and what it could or should be. En route, we (...)
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  14. Explanatory Elucidation and Scientific Realism.Alberto Cordero - 2012 - Epistemologia 1:59-70.
    Explanatory elucidation occurs when a theory has one or more of its assumptions explained by another independently successful theory. Because explanatory elucidation springs from independently supported theories, it improves the credibility of the assumptions it casts light on, hence its relevance for realists. But cases can be pointed to where explanatory elucidation has badly failed to identify truthful components. One way to address this challenge is by trying to find additional epistemic support for seemingly meritorious theory-parts. Resource in this regard, (...)
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  15. The tenets of hermeneutical realism.Dimitri Ginev - 2012 - Epistemologia 2:264-280.
    This article explores and attempts to resolve some issues that arise when at stake is the need to harmonize philosophical hermeneutics with a kind of realist philosophy of science. The author takes issue with established position in the realism-antirealism controversy. Interventionism is criticized for a residual Cartesian dualism. Cognitive relativism is debated by developing a concept of situated transcendence in the constitution of objects of inquiry. Non-behaviorist arguments against scheme-content dualism are advanced that appeal to context- sensitive theory of meaning. (...)
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  16. Scientific Realism.Michael Devitt - 2005 - In Patrick Greenough & Michael P. Lynch (eds.), Truth and Realism. Clarendon Press.
  17. Scientific Realism as an Issue in Semantics.Christopher Gauker - 2006 - In Patrick Greenough & Michael P. Lynch (eds.), Truth and Realism. Clarendon Press.
  18. The Relativity of Theory by Moti Mizrahi: Pandemics and Pathogens: What’s at Stake in the Debate Over Scientific Realism? [REVIEW]Margaret Greta Turnbull - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 87 (C):168-169.
    I provide a critical review of Moti Mizrahi's The Relativity of Theory, expounding on the book's strengths and then providing an extended argument that Mizrahi mischaracterizes the epistemic attitude of concern to antirealism about science as well as the practical stakes involved in adopting the antirealist position.
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  19. Selective Scientific Realism and Truth-Transfer in Theories of Molecular Structure.Myron A. Penner - forthcoming - In Contemporary Scientific Realism: The Challenge from the History of Science. Oxford, UK: pp. 130-158.
    According to scientific realists, the predictive success of mature theories provides a strong epistemic basis for thinking that such theories are approximately true. However, we know that many theories once regarded as well-confirmed and predictively successful were eventually replaced with successor theories, and some claim this undermines the epistemic confidence we should have in the approximate truth of current science. Selective scientific realists in turn argue that if one can show that the predictive success of some rejected theory T is (...)
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  20. Truth in the Post-Truth Era.Dominique Raynaud - 2019 - In Mario Augusto Bunge, Michael R. Matthews, Guillermo M. Denegri, Eduardo L. Ortiz, Heinz W. Droste, Alberto Cordero, Pierre Deleporte, María Manzano, Manuel Crescencio Moreno, Dominique Raynaud, Íñigo Ongay de Felipe, Nicholas Rescher, Richard T. W. Arthur, Rögnvaldur D. Ingthorsson, Evandro Agazzi, Ingvar Johansson, Joseph Agassi, Nimrod Bar-Am, Alberto Cupani, Gustavo E. Romero, Andrés Rivadulla, Art Hobson, Olival Freire Junior, Peter Slezak, Ignacio Morgado-Bernal, Marta Crivos, Leonardo Ivarola, Andreas Pickel, Russell Blackford, Michael Kary, A. Z. Obiedat, Carolina I. García Curilaf, Rafael González del Solar, Luis Marone, Javier Lopez de Casenave, Francisco Yannarella, Mauro A. E. Chaparro, José Geiser Villavicencio- Pulido, Martín Orensanz, Jean-Pierre Marquis, Reinhard Kahle, Ibrahim A. Halloun, José María Gil, Omar Ahmad, Byron Kaldis, Marc Silberstein, Carolina I. García Curilaf, Rafael González del Solar, Javier Lopez de Casenave, Íñigo Ongay de Felipe & Villavicencio-Pulid (eds.), Mario Bunge: A Centenary Festschrift. Cham: Springer Verlag. pp. 139-162.
    Notwithstanding what the champions of post-truth may think, truth remains a key concept of scientific research. In this contribution, several theories of factual truth are evaluated with the help of a simple and straightforward tool, i.e., a logical table of contingency. Its application shows that most contemporary disconcerting theories of truth have critical flaws, and that, albeit imperfect, truth-as-correspondence is still the best theory. Further criticism of correspondence as adaequatio, compliance and isomorphism suggests that correspondence-as-mapping constitutes a more acceptable theory. (...)
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  21. Internal Perspectivalism: The Solution to Generality Problems About Proper Function and Natural Norms.Jason Winning - 2020 - Biology and Philosophy 35 (33):1-22.
    In this paper, I argue that what counts as the proper function of a trait is a matter of the de facto perspective that the biological system, itself, possesses on what counts as proper functioning for that trait. Unlike non-perspectival accounts, internal perspectivalism does not succumb to generality problems. But unlike external perspectivalism, internal perspectivalism can provide a fully naturalistic, mind-independent grounding of proper function and natural norms. The attribution of perspectives to biological systems is intended to be neither metaphorical (...)
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  22. Vérité partielle et réalisme scientifique: une approche bungéenne.Jean-Pierre Marquis - 2020 - Mεtascience: Discours Général Scientifique 1:293-314.
    Le réalisme scientifique occupe une place centrale dans le système philosophique de Mario Bunge. Au cœur de cette thèse, on trouve l’affirmation selon laquelle nous pouvons connaître le monde partiellement. Il s’ensuit que les théories scientifiques ne sont pas totalement vraies ou totalement fausses, mais plutôt partiellement vraies et partiellement fausses. Ces énoncés sur la connaissance scientifique, à première vue plausible pour quiconque est familier avec la pratique scientifique, demandent néanmoins à être clarifiés, précisés et, ultimement, à être inclus dans (...)
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  23. Against the “Working Posits” Version of Selective Realism.Dean Peters - 2018 - Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy 62:125-129.
    Most contemporary proponents of scientific realism advocate some form of selective realism. One of the most prominent variants is the working posits view, which claims that the essential propositions of a successful theory are those that are involved in the actual derivations of predictions. In this paper, I offer a systematic examination of this view, surveying no fewer than six competing interpretations of it. I argue, however, that none is satisfactory. A general reason to reject the working posits view is (...)
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  24. The Objectivity of Science.Howard Sankey - 2023 - Journal of Philosophical Investigations at University of Tabriz 17 (45):1-10.
    The idea that science is objective, or able to achieve objectivity, is in large part responsible for the role that science plays within society. But what is objectivity? The idea of objectivity is ambiguous. This paper distinguishes between three basic forms of objectivity. The first form of objectivity is ontological objectivity: the world as it is in itself does not depend upon what we think about it; it is independent of human thought, language, conceptual activity or experience. The second form (...)
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  25. Juha Saatsi, ed., "The Routledge Handbook of Scientific Realism.". [REVIEW]Jan Arreman - 2019 - Philosophy in Review 39 (2):103-104.
    Review of The Routledge Handbook of Scientific Realism by Juha Saatsi (ed.).
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  26. Realism, Social Theory, and Theoretical Practice.Pär Engholm - 2000 - Journal of Critical Realism 3 (2):14-20.
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  27. “New” Realism as a Problem of Method.Marko Bosnic - 2014 - Meta: Research in Hermeneutics, Phenomenology, and Practical Philosophy:280-304.
    The development of the discussion on “Speculative Realism” and “Speculative Materialism” is very well documented. However, in order to better understand the overall project of this “New Realism” it is helpful to draw light to the genealogy and context in which the problem evolved in. In this paper, I map out a genealogy of the complex problem of “New Realism” in order to understand what it is that is “new” about this realism. The central argument of the paper is that (...)
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  28. Comment on Scientific Objectivity with a Human Face.Howard Sankey - 2004 - In Martin Carrier, J. Roggenhoffer, G. Kuppers & Ph Blanchard (eds.), Knowledge and the World: Challenges Beyond the Science Wars. Berlin Heidelberg New York: Springer-Verlag. pp. 95-98.
    This is a comment on Professor Holm Tetens' paper, 'Scientific Objectivity with a Human Face'.
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  29. A Less Than Direct Connection Indeed: Reply to Jakowljewitsch.Howard Sankey - 2006 - Divinatio 24:157-168.
    This is a response to Dragan Jakowljewitsch's 'The Successes of Science and Scientific-Theoretical Realism: A Less Than Direct Connection'.
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  30. Ilkka Niiniluoto, Critical Scientific Realism. Oxford: Oxford University Press , xiv + 341 pp. [REVIEW]Ioannis Votsis - 2003 - Philosophy of Science 70 (2):444-447.
    This is certainly true. Simulationists and experimentalists face equally relevant challenges when it comes to establishing that the results of their simulation or experiment are informative about the real world. But it is one thing to point this fact out, and it is another to understand how those challenges are overcome, under differing circumstances, and in varying contexts. It is here that Marcel Boumans’ contribution becomes especially valuable. He presents an example from economics in which a mathematical model performs the (...)
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  31. Quo Vadis Selective Scientific Realism?Peter Vickers - 2018 - Spontaneous Generations 9 (1):118-121.
    My current opinion is that the selective realist is in a strong position vis-à-vis the historical challenges. Certainly the realist needs to invoke some careful criteria for realist commitment, and various nuances concerning the nature of her epistemic commitment, and this may raise the ‘death by a thousand qualifications’ question mark. But the concern is unfounded: the qualifications are all independently motivated, and indeed necessary given the philosophical complexity. Qualifications are to be welcomed here; often the truth is far from (...)
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  32. Mind-Dependent Kinds.Khalidi Muhammad Ali - 2016 - Journal of Social Ontology 2 (2):223-246.
    Many philosophers take mind-independence to be criterial for realism about kinds. This is problematic when it comes to psychological and social kinds, which are unavoidably mind-dependent. But reflection on the case of artificial or synthetic kinds shows that the criterion of mind-independence needs to be qualified in certain ways. However, I argue that none of the usual variants on the criterion of mind-dependence is capable of distinguishing real or natural kinds from non-real kinds. Although there is a way of modifying (...)
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  33. Mechanisms, principles, and Lorentz's cautious realism.Mathias Frisch - 2002 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 36 (4):659-679.
  34. Blind Realism: An Essay on Human Knowledge and Natural Science.Mark T. Nelson - 1995 - Philosophical Quarterly 45 (178):127-129.
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  35. Eclectic realism—a cake less filling.Jacob Busch - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 39 (2):270-272.
    In a recent volume of this journal Saatsi [Saatsi, J.. Reconsidering the Fresnel–Maxwell theory shift: How the realist can have her cake and EAT it too. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 36, 509–536.] suggests that we adopt an approach where we explain phenomena reductively, by properties that are described via their nomological roles. These properties are conceived of as higher-order multiply realisable properties. Such properties are however not causally efficacious independent of their causal basis. Therefore Saatsi has left (...)
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  36. The electrons of the dinosaurs and the center of the Earth: comments on D.D. Turner’s ‘The past vs. the tiny: historical science and the abductive arguments for realism’. [REVIEW]Christián C. Carman - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 36 (1):171-173.
    Turner [The past vs. the tiny: Historical science and the abductive arguments for realism. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 35A 1] claims that the arguments in favor of realism do not support with the same force both classes of realism, since they supply stronger reasons for experimental realism than for historical realism. I would like to make two comments, which should be seen as amplifications inspired by his proposal, rather than as a criticism. First, it is important to (...)
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