Localism vs. Individualism for the Scientific Realism Debate

Philosophical Papers 48 (3):359-377 (2019)
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Abstract

Localism is the view that the unit of evaluation in the scientific realism debate is a single scientific discipline, sub-discipline, or claim, whereas individualism is the view that the unit of evaluation is a single scientific theory. Localism is compatible, while individualism is not, with a local pessimistic induction and a local selective induction. Asay presents several arguments to support localism and undercut globalism, according to which the unit of evaluation is the set of all scientific disciplines. I argue that some of his arguments clash with localism as well as with globalism and support individualism, and that individualism goes hand in hand, while localism does not, with the basic rule of how to evaluate an argument.

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