Extragalactic reality: The case of gravitational lensing

Philosophy of Science 56 (4):555-581 (1989)
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My Representing and Intervening (1983) concludes with what it calls an experimental argument for scientific realism about entities. The argument is evidently inapplicable to extragalactic astrophysics, but leaves open the possibility that there might be other grounds for scientific realism in that domain. Here I argue for antirealism in astrophysics, although not for any particular kind of antirealism. The argument is conducted by a detailed examination of some current research. It parallels the last chapter of (1983). Both represent the methodological opinion that abstract or semantic realism/antirealism debates are empty, and typically lead to confused or wrong conclusions because they pay so little attention to the details of a science



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Ian Hacking
University of Toronto, St. George Campus

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References found in this work

The inference to the best explanation.Gilbert H. Harman - 1965 - Philosophical Review 74 (1):88-95.
The concept of observation in science and philosophy.Dudley Shapere - 1982 - Philosophy of Science 49 (4):485-525.
Space, Time and Gravitation.H. R. Smart & A. S. Eddington - 1922 - Philosophical Review 31 (4):414.

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