Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

A Pragmatic Case against Pragmatic Scientific Realism

Wang-Yen Lee
Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie
Vol. 38, No. 2 (November, 2007), pp. 299-313
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20722493
Page Count: 15
  • Download ($43.95)
  • Cite this Item
A Pragmatic Case against Pragmatic Scientific Realism
Preview not available

Abstract

Pragmatic Scientific Realism (PSR) urges us to take up the realist aim or the goal of truth although we have good reason to think that the goal can neither be attained nor approximated. While Newton-Smith thinks that pursuing what we know we cannot achieve is clearly irrational, Rescher disagrees and contends that pursuing an unreachable goal can be rational on pragmatic grounds—if in pursuing the unreachable goal one can get indirect benefits. I have blocked this attempt at providing a pragmatic justification for the realist aim of PSR on precisely the same pragmatic grounds—since there is a competing alternative to PSR, and the alternative can provide whatever indirect benefits PSR can offer while being less risky than it is, prudential reasoning favours the alternative to PSR. This undermines the pragmatic case for the realist aim of science since the instrumentalist alternative does not aim at the truth.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
[299]
    [299]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
300
    300
  • Thumbnail: Page 
301
    301
  • Thumbnail: Page 
302
    302
  • Thumbnail: Page 
303
    303
  • Thumbnail: Page 
304
    304
  • Thumbnail: Page 
305
    305
  • Thumbnail: Page 
306
    306
  • Thumbnail: Page 
307
    307
  • Thumbnail: Page 
308
    308
  • Thumbnail: Page 
309
    309
  • Thumbnail: Page 
310
    310
  • Thumbnail: Page 
311
    311
  • Thumbnail: Page 
312
    312
  • Thumbnail: Page 
313
    313