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Journal Article

Semirealism or Neo-Aristotelianism?

Stathis Psillos
Erkenntnis (1975-)
Vol. 78, No. 1 (February 2013), pp. 29-38
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23356748
Page Count: 10
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Semirealism or Neo-Aristotelianism?
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Abstract

Chakravartty claims that science does not imply any specific metaphysical theory of the world. In this sense, science is consistent with both neo-Aristotelianism and neo-Humeanism. But, along with many others, he thinks that a neo-Aristotelian outlook best suits science. In other words, neo-Aristotelianism is supposed to win on the basis of an inference to the best explanation (IBE). I fail to see how IBE can be used to favour neo-Aristotelianism over neo-Humeanism. In this essay, I aim to do two things. Firstly, I explain why this failure is not idiosyncratic: it should be there even by Chakravartty's lights. Secondly, I raise some critical worries about Chakravartty's semirealism, especially in connection with the concept of a 'concrete structure' and the detection/auxiliary distinction. The essay ends with a dilemma: an exclusive disjunction encapsulated in its title.

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