Philosophia 48 (5):1901-1914 (2020)

Samuel J. M. Kahn
Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis
In this paper I provide a novel argument for scientific realism. In contrast to most recent defenses of SR, my defense of SR does not rely on the no-miracles argument. Instead, I take a more unconventional approach: I focus on the different kinds of justification available to different individuals in relation to different kinds of propositions. I maintain that this alternative focus shows that most people are warranted in believing many propositions about unobservables. The paper is divided into three main sections. In the first, I rehearse the main moves in the recent debate about SR. In the second, I argue that the discussion in section one enables us to see that most of the arguments in the recent debate about SR mistake their target: instead of being about SR, they are about meta-SR. I argue that what I call the JJ-principle should be rejected and, further, that if the JJ-principle is rejected, then meta-SR may be cleaved from SR. This enables me to advance to a position I call thin realism in the third and final section of the paper.
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DOI 10.1007/s11406-020-00193-7
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References found in this work BETA

How the Laws of Physics Lie.Nancy Cartwright - 1983 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
The Scientific Image.William Demopoulos & Bas C. van Fraassen - 1982 - Philosophical Review 91 (4):603.
Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 1991 - London and New York: Routledge.

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