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Motivational Realism: The Natural Classification for Pierre Duhem

Karen Merikangas Darling
Philosophy of Science
Vol. 70, No. 5, Proceedings of the 2002 Biennial Meeting of The Philosophy of Science AssociationPart I: Contributed PapersEdited by Sandra D. Mitchell (December 2003), pp. 1125-1136
DOI: 10.1086/377394
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/377394
Page Count: 12
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Motivational Realism: The Natural Classification for Pierre Duhem
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Abstract

This paper addresses a central interpretive problem in understanding Pierre Duhem's philosophy of science. The problem arises because there is textual support for both realist and antirealist readings of his work. I argue that his realist and antirealist claims are different. For Duhem, scientific reasoning leads straight to antirealism. But intuition (reasons of the heart) motivates, without justifying, a kind of realism. I develop this idea to suggest a motivational realist interpretation of Duhem's philosophy.

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