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Scientific Realism, Constructive Empiricism, and Structuralism

James Ladyman, Don Ross, David Spurrett, and John Collier

in Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalized

Published in print:
2007
Published Online:
September 2007
ISBN:
9780199276196
eISBN:
9780191706127
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199276196.003.0002
Subject:
Philosophy, Metaphysics/Epistemology, Philosophy of Science

This chapter argues that a form of structural realism is motivated by reflection on issues that arise in two different domains that have been the subject of intense scrutiny during recent decades. ... More


The Epistemology of Constructive Empiricism

James Ladyman

in Images of Empiricism: Essays on Science and Stances, with a Reply from Bas C. van Fraassen

Published in print:
2007
Published Online:
January 2008
ISBN:
9780199218844
eISBN:
9780191711732
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199218844.003.0004
Subject:
Philosophy, Philosophy of Science

This chapter questions what epistemic reason van Fraassen has for focusing on empirical adequacy. It contrasts van Fraassen's constructive empiricism with a pragmatic empiricism, where one gives ... More


Explaining the Success of Mathematics

Mary Leng

in Mathematics and Reality

Published in print:
2010
Published Online:
May 2010
ISBN:
9780199280797
eISBN:
9780191723452
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199280797.003.0009
Subject:
Philosophy, Logic/Philosophy of Mathematics, Metaphysics/Epistemology

This chapter considers how to choose between realism, mathematical fictionalism, and constructive empiricism as three different attitudes to our best scientific theories. It is argued that the choice ... More


Mathematical Fictionalism and Constructive Empiricism

Mary Leng

in Mathematics and Reality

Published in print:
2010
Published Online:
May 2010
ISBN:
9780199280797
eISBN:
9780191723452
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199280797.003.0008
Subject:
Philosophy, Logic/Philosophy of Mathematics, Metaphysics/Epistemology

The fictionalist account of the role of mathematical hypotheses in our scientific theories presented in Chapter 7 suggests that we should not view our scientific theories as true, taken literally, ... More


Constructive Empiricism and the Argument from Underdetermination

Maarten Van Dyck

in Images of Empiricism: Essays on Science and Stances, with a Reply from Bas C. van Fraassen

Published in print:
2007
Published Online:
January 2008
ISBN:
9780199218844
eISBN:
9780191711732
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199218844.003.0002
Subject:
Philosophy, Philosophy of Science

This chapter examines the arguments van Fraassen gives for constructive empiricism. Van Fraassen is often presented as giving some version of the argument from underdetermination: the argument which ... More


An Empiricist Critique of Constructive Empiricism: The Aim of Science

Philip Percival

in Images of Empiricism: Essays on Science and Stances, with a Reply from Bas C. van Fraassen

Published in print:
2007
Published Online:
January 2008
ISBN:
9780199218844
eISBN:
9780191711732
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199218844.003.0006
Subject:
Philosophy, Philosophy of Science

This chapter examines the aim of science according to constructive empiricism. It argues that empirical adequacy is not the only scientific non-instrumental theoretical value. A tautologous theory is ... More


 Constructive Empiricism and the Role of Social Values in Science

Sherrilyn Roush

in Value-Free Science?: Ideals and Illusions

Published in print:
2007
Published Online:
January 2009
ISBN:
9780195308969
eISBN:
9780199867608
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195308969.003.0012
Subject:
Philosophy, Philosophy of Science

In her book Science as Social Knowledge, Helen Longino argued not only that social values are in fact ineliminable from theory choice in science but also that we ought to rewrite our ideals in such a ... More


Real Anti‐realism: The Evidential Approach

Sherrilyn Roush

in Tracking Truth: Knowledge, Evidence, and Science

Published in print:
2005
Published Online:
February 2006
ISBN:
9780199274734
eISBN:
9780191603228
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/0199274738.003.0006
Subject:
Philosophy, Metaphysics/Epistemology

This chapter argues that confirmation theory is relevant to the debate between epistemological realism and anti-realism about scientific theories, because typical realist and anti-realist claims ... More


Underdetermination and Evidence

Alexander Bird

in Images of Empiricism: Essays on Science and Stances, with a Reply from Bas C. van Fraassen

Published in print:
2007
Published Online:
January 2008
ISBN:
9780199218844
eISBN:
9780191711732
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199218844.003.0005
Subject:
Philosophy, Philosophy of Science

This chapter shows that the sceptical empiricist argument, and by extension any argument like it, fails. It considers the concept of evidence, endorsing Williamson's view that all and only knowledge ... More


A World without “Isms”

Paul Horwich

in Truth -- Meaning -- Reality

Published in print:
2010
Published Online:
February 2010
ISBN:
9780199268900
eISBN:
9780191708459
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199268900.003.0012
Subject:
Philosophy, Metaphysics/Epistemology, Philosophy of Language

Humdrum material facts — e.g., that the cat is on the mat — are typically regarded as philosophically unproblematic. But with within certain domains, such as mathematics, morality, modal discourse, ... More


Realism in Theory Construction

Ilkka Niiniluoto

in Critical Scientific Realism

Published in print:
2002
Published Online:
November 2003
ISBN:
9780199251612
eISBN:
9780191598098
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/0199251614.003.0005
Subject:
Philosophy, Philosophy of Science

Theoretical realism claims—against instrumentalism (Stegmüller), constructive empiricism (van Fraassen), entity realism (Hacking, Cartwright), and structural realism (Worrall)—that the theoretical ... More


Arguments Concerning Scientific Realism

Bas C. van Fraassen

in The Scientific Image

Published in print:
1980
Published Online:
November 2003
ISBN:
9780198244271
eISBN:
9780191597473
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/0198244274.003.0002
Subject:
Philosophy, Philosophy of Science

This chapter examines and criticizes the main arguments offered for scientific realism, here identified as the following view: Science aims to give us, in its theories, a literally true story of what ... More


Critical Scientific Realism

Ilkka Niiniluoto

Published in print:
2002
Published Online:
November 2003
ISBN:
9780199251612
eISBN:
9780191598098
Item type:
book
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/0199251614.001.0001
Subject:
Philosophy, Philosophy of Science

This book gives a systematic formulation of critical scientific realism by surveying varieties of realism in ontology, semantics, epistemology, theory construction, and methodology. According to the ... More


Second philosophy of science

Penelope Maddy

in Second Philosophy: A Naturalistic Method

Published in print:
2007
Published Online:
January 2009
ISBN:
9780199273669
eISBN:
9780191706264
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199273669.003.0023
Subject:
Philosophy, Logic/Philosophy of Mathematics

This chapter returns to the compare-and-contrast approach of Part I, focusing this time on van Fraassen's constructive empiricism. The constructive empiricist holds that no evidence can support the ... More


Reading Nature: Realist, Instrumentalist, and Quietist Interpretations of Scientific Theories

P. Kyle Stanford

in Physical Theory: Method and Interpretation

Published in print:
2014
Published Online:
October 2014
ISBN:
9780195145649
eISBN:
9780199396740
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195145649.003.0005
Subject:
Philosophy, Philosophy of Science, General

Theories refer to entities beyond the real of ordinary objects. Are theories to be understood realistically or only instrumentalistically as guides to the behavior of the observable? Should we ... More


Theories in the Realism Debate

Steven French

in There Are No Such Things As Theories

Published in print:
2020
Published Online:
April 2020
ISBN:
9780198848158
eISBN:
9780191882715
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780198848158.003.0009
Subject:
Philosophy, Logic/Philosophy of Mathematics

If there are no theories, how can they be said to represent anything? And how can one be a realist or antirealist about them? In this final chapter the notion of ‘practice’ is extended to cover ... More


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