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Ramsey Sentence Realism as an Answer to the Pessimistic Meta-Induction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2022

Abstract

John Worrall recently provided an account of epistemic structural realism, which explains the success of science by arguing for the correct mathematical structure of our theories. He accounts for the historical failures of science by pointing to bloated ontological interpretations of theoretical terms. In this paper I argue that Worrall's account suffers from five serious problems. I also show that Pierre Cruse and David Papineau have developed a rival structural realism that solves all of the problems faced by Worrall. This Ramsey sentence realism is a significant advance in the debate, but still ultimately fails for its incomplete account of reference

Type
Structural Realism
Copyright
Copyright © The Philosophy of Science Association

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Footnotes

Many thanks to Craig Callender for his critical comments on this paper, as well as many hours of extremely helpful discussion on this topic in general. I would also like to thank Stathis Psillos.

References

Cruse, P., and Papineau, David (2002), “Scientific Realism without Reference”, in Marsonet, Michelle (ed.), The Problem of Realism. Aldershot, U.K.: Ashgate.Google Scholar
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Ladyman, J. (1998), “What Is Structural Realism?”, What Is Structural Realism? 29:409424.Google Scholar
Laudan, L. (1981), “A Confutation of Convergent Realism”, A Confutation of Convergent Realism 48:1949.Google Scholar
Lewis, D. (1970), “How to Define Theoretical Terms”, How to Define Theoretical Terms 67:427446.Google Scholar
Newman, M. H. A. (1928), “Mr. Russell’s ‘Causal Theory of Perception’”, Mr. Russell’s ‘Causal Theory of Perception’ 37:137148.Google Scholar
Papineau, D. (1996), “Theory-Dependent Terms”, Theory-Dependent Terms 63:120.Google Scholar
Psillos, S. (1995), “Is Structural Realism the Best of Both Worlds?”, Is Structural Realism the Best of Both Worlds? 49:1546.Google Scholar
Psillos, S. (1999), Scientific Realism: How Science Tracks Truth. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
Worrall, J. (1989), “Structural Realism: The Best of Both Worlds”, Structural Realism: The Best of Both Worlds 43:99124.Google Scholar
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