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Convergent Realism and Approximate Truth

David B. Resnik
PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association
Vol. 1992, Volume One: Contributed Papers (1992), pp. 421-434
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/192772
Page Count: 14
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Convergent Realism and Approximate Truth
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Abstract

I examine the role that approximate truth plays in arguments for convergent realism and diagnose some difficulties that face attempts to defend realism by employing this slippery concept. Approximate truth plays two important roles in convergent realism: it functions as a truth surrogate and it helps explain the success of science. I argue that approximate truth cannot perform both of these roles. If it adequately fulfills its role as a truth surrogate, then it cannot explain the success of science. If it adequately explains the success of science, then it cannot function as a truth surrogate.

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