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Journal Article

The Prospective Stance in Realism

Ioannis Votsis
Philosophy of Science
Vol. 78, No. 5 (December 2011), pp. 1223-1234
DOI: 10.1086/662535
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/662535
Page Count: 12
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The Prospective Stance in Realism
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Abstract

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.

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