PSA2016: The 25th Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association

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Eight Myths about Scientific Realism

Selective realist projects have gained development over the last two decades. Judging by the literature, however, antirealist quarters would seem little impressed with the results. Section I considers the selectivist case and the perceived shortcomings of what it contributes. One shortcoming, not much discussed in the literature, is that selectivist offerings are nuanced in ways that deprive them of features that—according to many—cannot be absent from any realism “worth having”. Section II (the main part of the paper) considers eight features widely required of realist positions. None of them is honored by selectivist projects. So, modulo those requirements, even if selectivism managed to clear other shortcomings of their project it would still not be a position worth considering. Next the historical background and present credentials of the requirements in question are examined. All are found to rest on myths and confusions about science and knowledge. If this is correct, realists and antirealists should reject the requirements.

Author Information:

Alberto Cordero    
CUNY Graduate Center & Queens College CUNY


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