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Confirmation for a Modest Realism

Snyder, Laura J. (2004) Confirmation for a Modest Realism. In: UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)

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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)
Snyder, Laura J.
Keywords: Consilience, Whewell, Realism
Subjects: General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Depositing User: Laura J. Snyder
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2004
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 15:12
Item ID: 1901
Public Domain: No

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