Realism, Pessimism, and Underdetermination

P. Kyle Stanford

in Exceeding Our Grasp

Published in print May 2006 | ISBN: 9780195174083
Published online May 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199786367 | DOI:
  Realism, Pessimism, and Underdetermination

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This chapter begins with a discussion of scientific realism. It then looks at some reasons that have been given for doubting that the pessimistic induction and the underdetermination of theories by evidence really should lead us to withhold belief in the claims of the best scientific theories. It is argued that the most powerful challenge to scientific realism has yet to be formulated, but emerges naturally from a systematic consideration of the reasons that the much more famous challenges offered by the pessimistic induction, and that the underdetermination of theories by evidence have left scientific realists unconvinced of their significance.

Keywords: scientific theories; scientific realism; pessimistic induction; scientific theories

Chapter.  11464 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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