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A Critique of Localized Realism

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2022


In an attempt to avert Laudan's pessimistic induction, Kitcher, Worrall and Psillos introduce a narrower version of scientific realism. According to this version, which can be referred to as “localized realism,” realists need not accept every component in a successful theory. They are supposed only to accept those components that led to the theory's empirical success. Consequently, realists can avoid believing in dubious entities like the caloric and ether. This paper examines and critiques localized realism. It also scrutinizes Psillos's historical study of the caloric theory of heat, which is intended to support localized realism.

Structural Realism
Copyright © The Philosophy of Science Association

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