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Scientific Realism in the Wild: An Empirical Study of Seven Sciences and History and Philosophy of Science

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2022

Abstract

We report the results of a study that investigated the views of researchers working in seven scientific disciplines and in history and philosophy of science in regard to four hypothesized dimensions of scientific realism. Among other things, we found (i) that natural scientists tended to express more strongly realist views than social scientists, (ii) that history and philosophy of science scholars tended to express more antirealist views than natural scientists, (iii) that van Fraassen’s characterization of scientific realism failed to cluster with more standard characterizations, and (iv) that those who endorsed the pessimistic induction were no more or less likely to endorse antirealism.

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Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The Philosophy of Science Association

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Footnotes

We would like to thank audience members at the 2018 Buffalo Annual Experimental Philosophy Conference and the 2018 meeting of the Central States Philosophical Association, Huginn Thorsteinsson, and three anonymous reviewers from Philosophy of Science for helpful feedback on this project. All data and materials from this project are available at https://osf.io/cevsr.

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