On the Evolutionary Defense of Scientific Antirealism
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- On the Evolutionary Defense of Scientific Antirealism
- Park, Seungbae
- Evolutionary theory; Pessimistic induction; Scientific realism; Success of science
- Issue Date
- AXIOMATHES, v.24, no.2, pp.263 - 273
- Van Fraassen (The scientific image, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1980) claims that successful theories exist today because successful theories survive and unsuccessful ones die. Wray (Erkenntnis 67:81-89, 2007; Erkenntnis 72:365-377, 2010) appeals to Stanford's new pessimistic induction (Exceeding our grasp: science, history, and the problem of unconceived alternatives, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2006), arguing that van Fraassen's selectionist explanation is better than the realist explanation that successful theories exist because they are approximately true. I argue that if the pessimistic induction is correct, then the evolutionary explanation is neither true nor empirically adequate, and that realism is better than selectionism because realism explains more phenomena in science than selectionism.
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