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The Prospective Stance in Realism
Philosophy of Science
Vol. 78, No. 5 (December 2011), pp. 1223-1234
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/662535
Page Count: 12
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Ethers, Scientific realism, Empiricism, Explanation theories, Argumentation, Constructive empiricism, Philosophical realism, Truth content, Empirical evidence, Antirealism
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Scientific realists endeavor to secure inferences from empirical success to approximate truth by arguing that, despite the demise of empirically successful theories, the parts of those theories responsible for their success do, in fact, survive theory change. If, as some antirealists have recently suggested, successful theory parts are only identifiable in retrospect, namely, as those that have survived, then the realist approach is trivialized, for now success and survival are guaranteed to coincide. The primary aim of this article is to counter this argument by identifying successful theory parts independently from their survival.
Copyright 2011 by the Philosophy of Science Association. All rights reserved.