Cognitive scientific realism

Philosophy of Science 68 (2):185-202 (2001)
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Abstract

Our cognitive capabilities force us into a description of the world by levels. But theories on different levels result in descriptions that differ qualitatively. Therefore, the resulting incommensurability requires ontological bridges between such theories. These are obtained uniquely when the equations of the reduced theory are compared with a suitable limit of the equations of the reducing theory. Four case studies from theoretical physics and astronomy support this claim, two for theories of composites and two for non-composites (field theories). These results a coherent view of a single real world despite its ontological pluralism. The cumulativity of scientific knowledge is thus ensured and realism is supported

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Citations of this work

Effective Field Theories, Reductionism and Scientific Explanation.Stephan Hartmann - 2001 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 32 (2):267-304.
Explanatory loops and the limits of genetic reductionism.Martin Carrier & Patrick Finzer - 2006 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 20 (3):267 – 283.
The role of a posteriori mathematics in physics.Edward MacKinnon - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 62:166-175.

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References found in this work

Explanation and scientific understanding.Michael Friedman - 1974 - Journal of Philosophy 71 (1):5-19.
Approaches to reduction.Kenneth F. Schaffner - 1967 - Philosophy of Science 34 (2):137-147.
Scientific Realism.Jarrett Leplin (ed.) - 1984 - University of California Press.

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