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Confirmation for a Modest Realism

Snyder, Laura J. (2004) Confirmation for a Modest Realism. In: [2004] Philosophy of Science Assoc. 19th Biennial Meeting - PSA2004: Contributed Papers (Austin, TX; 2004) > PSA 2004 Contributed Papers. (Unpublished)

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    Abstract

    William Whewell was clearly wrong to claim that his confirmation criterion of consilience was a truth-guarantor. I argue here, however, that even when consilience gives evidence for a theory that turns out to be false, there is an important sense in which consilience shows that the theory has gotten something right. Consilience is a sign that a theory has uncovered something about the natural-kind structure of the physical world. Because of this, Whewell was correct to claim that consilience provides a “criterion of reality.” In this way consilience can play a role in an argument for scientific realism.


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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Keywords: Consilience, Whewell, Realism
    Subjects: General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
    General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
    General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
    Conferences and Volumes: [2004] Philosophy of Science Assoc. 19th Biennial Meeting - PSA2004: Contributed Papers (Austin, TX; 2004) > PSA 2004 Contributed Papers
    Depositing User: Laura J. Snyder
    Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2004
    Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 11:12
    Item ID: 1901
    Public Domain: No
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/1901

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