Approximate Truth

A Paraconsistent Account
Part of the Origins book series (ORIN, volume 2)


I think of myself as a realist, in at least two senses of that word. First, I (try to) face things as they are, rather than ignore evidence that the world is not unfolding as I would like it to. And second, I think that science aims and often succeeds at telling us how things are. The first sort of realism is generally regarded as a (practical) virtue—we are more likely to succeed if we work from true beliefs about the way things stand, than if we start with wishful thinking.’ But the second is pretty controversial, and controversial for reasons related to the first: scientific realism, to many, is itself a bit of wishful thinking. It ignores various limits on our ability to know the world, on the notions of truth appropriate to our use of language, and the form that our scientific theories take.


Scientific Realism Wishful Thinking Empirical Adequacy Paraconsistent Logic Constructive Empiricist 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Apostoli, P. and B. Brown (1995), A Solution to the Completeness Problem for Weakly Aggregative Modal Logic. Journal of Symbolic Logic 60 832–842.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Armstrong, D. (1983), What is a Law of Nature? Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Brown, B. (1992), Rational Inconsistency and Reasoning. Informal Logic XIV 5–10.Google Scholar
  4. Brown, B. (1993), Old Quantum Theory: A Paraconsistent Approach. PSA 1992 Vol. 2, Lansing: Philosophy of Science Association, pp. 397–411Google Scholar
  5. Brown, J. (1994), Smoke and Mirrors. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  6. Bueno, O. and E. De Souza (1996), The Concept of Quasi-Truth. Logique et Analyse 153–154 183–199.Google Scholar
  7. Cartwright, N. (1983), How the Laws of Physics Lie. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Da Costa, N. C. A. and S. French (1990), The Model-Theoretic Approach to Philosophy of Science. Philosophy of Science 57 248–265.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dretske, F. (1977), Laws of Nature. Philosophy of Science 44 248–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Fine, A. (1984), The Natural Ontological Attitude. In Scientific Realism J. Leplin (ed.), Berkely: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  11. Hacking, I. (1983), Representing and Intervening. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Hempel, C. G. (1958), The Theoretician’s Dilemma. In Minnesota Studies in Philosophy of Science H. Feigl, M. Scriven, and G. Maxwell (eds.), Vol. II,. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota.Google Scholar
  13. Republished in Aspects of Scientific Explanation C. G. Hempel, New York: The Free Press, C.G., 1965, pp. 173–222.Google Scholar
  14. Kyburg, H. (1997), The Rule of Adjunction and Reasonable Inference. Journal of Philosophy XCIV, 109–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Laudan, L. (1981), A Confutation of Convergent Realism. Philosophy of Science 48 19–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Lewis, D. (1986), The Plurality of Worlds. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  17. MacIntosh, D. (1994), Partial Convergence and Approximate Truth. British Journal of Philosophy of Science 45 153–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Mikenberg, I., N. C. A. Da Costa, and R. Chuaqui (1986), Pragmatic Truth and Approximation to Truth. The Journal of Symbolic Logic 51 201–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Putnam, H. (1971), Philosophy of Logic. New York: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
  20. Putnam, H. (1973), Explanation and Reference. In Conceptual Change G. Pearce, and P. Maynard, (eds.), Dordrecht: Reidel, pp. 199–221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Schotch, P. K. (1993), Paraconsistent Logic: The View from the Right. PSA 1992 Vol. 2, East Lansing, Philosophy of Science Association.Google Scholar
  22. Schotch, P. K. and R. E. Jennings (1980), Inference and Necessity. Journal of Philosophical Logic 9 327–340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Schotch, P. K. and R. E. Jennings (1989), On Detonating. In Paraconsistent Logic: Essays on the Inconsistent G. Priest, R. Routley, and J. Norman (eds.), Munich: Philosophia Verlag, 1989, pp. 306–327.Google Scholar
  24. Sellars, W. (1963), Science, Perception and Reality. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  25. Sellars, W. (1979), Naturalism and Ontology. Reseda California: Ridgeview Pub. Co.Google Scholar
  26. Shapere, D. (1982), The Concept of Observation in Science and Philosophy. Philosophy of Science 49 485–525.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Suppe, F. (1977), The Structure of Scientific Theories. Second Edition, Chicago: University of Illinois Press.Google Scholar
  28. Thorne, K. S. (1994), Black Holes and Time Warps. New York: W. W. Norton & Co.Google Scholar
  29. Tooley, M. (1988), Causation: A Realist Approach. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  30. van Fraassen, B. C. (1980), The Scientific Image. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Weston, T. (1992), Approximate Truth and Scientific Realism. Philosophy of Science 59 53–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of LethbridgeCanada

Personalised recommendations