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

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Perspectival Realism about What? Tracking the Electron across Shifting Theoretical Perspectives

The history of unobservable entities is rife with diverse perspectives on them, associated with different concepts, theories, models, and experimental devices. This diversity prima facie undermines the realist aspirations of perspectivism: A plurality of perspectives on an unobservable entity throws doubt upon its very identity. In my paper I will address this worry with reference to the early history of the electron. Throughout that history the electron was considered from multiple, often incompatible, theoretical perspectives. I will make a case for understanding those perspectives in a realist manner, that is, as perspectives on the same ‘thing’.

Author Information:

Theodore Arabatzis    
Department of History and Philosophy of Science
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens


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