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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: UNSPECIFIED.

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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)
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Doppelt, Geraldjdoppelt@ucsd.edu
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
Depositing User: Gerald Doppelt
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2012 02:02
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2012 14:57
Item ID: 9423
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/9423

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