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Scientific Realism and Empirical Confirmation: a Puzzle

Allzén, Simon (2021) Scientific Realism and Empirical Confirmation: a Puzzle. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Scientific realism driven by inference to the best explanation (IBE) take the empirically confirmed objects in science to exist, independent, pace empiricism, of whether the objects are observable or not. This kind of realism, it has been claimed, does not need probabilistic reasoning with respect to the claim that these objects exist and are real. In this paper, I show that there are scientific contexts in which a non-probabilistic IBE-driven realism leads to a puzzle. Since there is no reason why IBE could not be applied in scientific contexts in which empirical confirmation has not yet been reached, this implies that realists are forced to be committed to the existence of empirically unconfirmed objects. As a consequence of such commitments, because they lack probabilistic features, the possible empirical confirmation of those objects are epistemically redundant with respect to realism.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Allzén, Simonsimon.allzen@philosophy.su.se0000-0002-6124-8152
Keywords: Scientific realism, Theory Confirmation, Dark Matter, Inference to the Best Explanation, Theoretical Virtues, Non-Empirical Theory Confirmation
Subjects: General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
Specific Sciences > Physics > Cosmology
General Issues > Evidence
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Depositing User: Mr Simon Allzén
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2021 03:56
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2021 03:56
Item ID: 18757
Subjects: General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
Specific Sciences > Physics > Cosmology
General Issues > Evidence
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Date: 20 January 2021
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/18757

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