Synthese 180 (2):139-155 (2011)
AbstractThis paper outlines a defense of scientific realism against the pessimistic meta- induction which appeals to the phenomenon of the exponential growth of science. Here, scientific realism is defined as the view that our current successful scientific theories are mostly approximately true, and pessimistic meta- induction is the argument that projects the occurrence of past refutations of successful theories to the present concluding that many or most current successful scientific theories are false. The defense starts with the observation that at least 80% of all scientific work ever done has been done since 1950, proceeds with the claim that practically all of our most successful theories were entirely stable during that period of time, and concludes that the projection of refutations of successful theories to the present is unsound. In addition to this defense, the paper offers a framework through which scientific realism can be compared with two types of anti-realism. The framework is also of help to examine the relationships between these three positions and the three main arguments offered respectively in their support
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References found in this work
Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalized.James Ladyman & Don Ross - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
The Scientific Image.William Demopoulos & Bas C. van Fraassen - 1982 - Philosophical Review 91 (4):603.
Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalized.James Ladyman & Don Ross - 2007 - In James Ladyman, Don Ross, David Spurrett & John Collier (eds.), Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalized. Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work
Bayesian Philosophy of Science: Variations on a Theme by the Reverend Thomas Bayes.Jan Sprenger & Stephan Hartmann - 2019 - Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.
Scientific Conclusions Need Not Be Accurate, Justified, or Believed by Their Authors.Haixin Dang & Liam Kofi Bright - 2021 - Synthese 199:8187–8203.
The Case Study Method in Philosophy of Science: An Empirical Study.Moti Mizrahi - 2020 - Perspectives on Science 28 (1):63-88.
Understanding Scientific Progress: The Noetic Account.Finnur Dellsén - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):11249-11278.
Why Should We Be Pessimistic About Antirealists and Pessimists?Seungbae Park - 2017 - Foundations of Science 22 (3):613-625.
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