Scientifically Defending Realism I: Psillos’ Holistic Approach
- 79 Downloads
In this chapter, I critically assess the two so-called no-miracle arguments which Psillos proposes in support of scientific realism (I call them NMA and Meta-NMA). After pointing out that leveling the charge of vicious circularity against any of the two arguments comes at an unaffordably high price, I urge that the conclusion of Meta-NMA is false. Concerning NMA, I detail that it faces a formidable objection, the so-called pessimistic meta-induction, and I discuss Psillos’ response to this objection. Finally, I show that the conclusion of the second IBE of NMA—scientific realism with regard to a given scientific theory—falls clearly short of the standards for scientific theories that Psillos himself erects in the course of his response to the pessimistic meta-induction. I argue that this is a general problem of such holistic approaches, and I further corroborate this result by applying it on the arguments for scientific realism developed by Howard Sankey.
KeywordsNo-miracle arguments Psillos Meta-NMA Scientific realism Sankey Naturalism
- Albert, David Z. 1992. Quantum Mechanics and Experience. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Google Scholar
- Devitt, Michael. 1997. Realism and Truth. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
- Fitzpatrick, Simon. 2013. Doing Away with the No Miracles Argument. In Perspectives and Foundational Problems in Philosophy of Science, ed. V. Karakostas and D. Dieks, 141–151. Cham: Springer.Google Scholar
- Kuhn, Thomas S. 1996 . The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- ———. 2014. Structural Realism. In The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, ed. Edward N. Zalta. Stanford University. http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2014/entries/structural-realism/. Visited on 08 June 2014.
- Lipton, Peter. 2004. Inference to the Best Explanation, 2nd ed. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Papineau, David. 1993. Philosophical Naturalism. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
- Psillos, Stathis. 1999. Scientific Realism. How Science Tracks Truth. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- ———. 2009. Knowing the Structure of Nature. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
- ———. 2011. Choosing the Realist Framework. Synthese 180 (2): 301–316.Google Scholar
- Putnam, Hilary. 1975. What Is Mathematical Truth? In Philosophical Papers, Volume 1, 60–78. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Quine, Willard Van Orman. 1974. The Roots of Reference. LaSalle: Open Court Publishing Co.Google Scholar
- Sankey, Howard. 2008. Scientific Realism and the Rationality of Science. Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar
- ———. 2002. The Empirical Stance. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
- Weisberg, Michael, Paul Needham, and Robin Hendry. 2011. Philosophy of Chemistry. In The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, ed. Edward N. Zalta. Stanford University. https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2016/entries/chemistry/. Visited on 5 August 2017.