PhilSci Archive

In Defense of Realism and Selectivism from Lyons’s Objections

Park, Seungbae (2019) In Defense of Realism and Selectivism from Lyons’s Objections. Foundations of Science.


Download (680kB) | Preview


Lyons (2016, 2017, 2018) formulates Laudan’s (1981) historical objection to scientific realism as a modus tollens. I present a better formulation of Laudan’s objection, and then argue that Lyons’s formulation is supererogatory. Lyons rejects scientific realism (Putnam, 1975) on the grounds that some successful past theories were (completely) false. I reply that scientific realism is not the categorical hypothesis that all successful scientific theories are (approximately) true, but rather the statistical hypothesis that most successful scientific theories are (approximately) true. Lyons rejects selectivism (Kitcher, 1993; Psillos, 1999) on the grounds that some working assumptions were (completely) false in the history of science. I reply that selectivists would say not that all working assumptions are (approximately) true, but rather that most working assumptions are (approximately) true.

Export/Citation: EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
Social Networking:
Share |

Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Keywords: Counterexample Formulation, Modus Tollens Formulation, No-Miracles Argument, Scientific Realism, Selectivism
Depositing User: Dr. Seungbae Park
Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2019 12:44
Last Modified: 11 Jul 2019 12:44
Item ID: 16205
Journal or Publication Title: Foundations of Science
Publisher: Springer
DOI or Unique Handle:
Date: June 2019

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item