Incompatibility and the pessimistic induction: a challenge for selective realism

European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (2):1-31 (2021)
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Two powerful arguments have famously dominated the realism debate in philosophy of science: The No Miracles Argument and the Pessimistic Meta-Induction. A standard response to the PMI is selective scientific realism, wherein only the working posits of a theory are considered worthy of doxastic commitment. Building on the recent debate over the NMA and the connections between the NMA and the PMI, I here consider a stronger inductive argument that poses a direct challenge for SSR: Because it is sometimes exactly the working posits which contradict each other, i.e., that which is directly responsible for empirical success, SSR cannot deliver a general explanation of scientific success.



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Florian J. Boge
Bergische Universität Wuppertal

Citations of this work

The Positive Argument Against Scientific Realism.Florian J. Boge - forthcoming - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie:1-32.

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References found in this work

Logical Foundations of Probability.Rudolf Carnap - 1950 - Chicago, IL, USA: Chicago University of Chicago Press.
Laws and Symmetry.Bas C. Van Fraassen - 1989 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 1991 - London and New York: Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group.

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