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Does Structural Realism Provide the Best Explanation of the Predictive Success of Science?

Doppelt, Gerald (2012) Does Structural Realism Provide the Best Explanation of the Predictive Success of Science? In: [2012] Philosophy of Science Assoc. 23rd Biennial Mtg (San Diego, CA) > PSA 2012 Contributed Papers.

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    Abstract

    I examine Carrier’s and Ladyman’s structural realist (‘SR’) explanation of the predictive success of phlogiston chemistry. On their account, it succeeds because phlogiston chemists grasped that there is some common unobservable structure of relations underlying combustion, calcification, and respiration. I argue that this SR account depends on assuming the truth of current chemical theory of oxidation and reduction, which provides a better explanation of the success of phlogiston theory than SR provides. I defend an alternative version of inference-to-the-best-explanation scientific realism which I call ‘Best Current Theory Realism’ (BCTR) and argue that it can answer the pessimistic meta-induction.


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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Keywords: Structural Realism; Phlogiston Chemistry; Scientific realism
    Subjects: Specific Sciences > Chemistry
    General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
    General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
    General Issues > Theory Change
    Conferences and Volumes: [2012] Philosophy of Science Assoc. 23rd Biennial Mtg (San Diego, CA) > PSA 2012 Contributed Papers
    Depositing User: Gerald Doppelt
    Date Deposited: 07 Nov 2012 21:02
    Last Modified: 10 Nov 2012 09:57
    Item ID: 9423
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/9423

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