Authors
K. Brad Wray
Aarhus University
Abstract
I revisit an older defense of scientific realism, the methodological defense, a defense developed by both Popper and Feyerabend. The methodological defense of realism concerns the attitude of scientists, not philosophers of science. The methodological defense is as follows: a commitment to realism leads scientists to pursue the truth, which in turn is apt to put them in a better position to get at the truth. In contrast, anti-realists lack the tenacity required to develop a theory to its fullest. As a consequence, they are less likely to get at the truth. My aim is to show that the methodological defense is flawed. I argue that a commitment to realism does not always benefit science, and that there is reason to believe that a research community with both realists and anti-realists in it may be better suited to advancing science. A case study of the Copernican Revolution in astronomy supports this claim.
Keywords Methodological defense of realism  anti-realism  Feyerabend  Popper  risk spreading  Copernican Revolution
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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsa.2015.09.001
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References found in this work BETA

Normal Science and its Dangers.Karl Popper - 1970 - In Imre Lakatos & Alan Musgrave (eds.), Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge. Cambridge University Press. pp. 51--8.
Feyerabend, Mill, and Pluralism.Elisabeth A. Lloyd - 1997 - Philosophy of Science 64 (4):407.

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Editor's Introduction.Curtis Forbes - 2018 - Spontaneous Generations 9 (1):1-11.

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