1st Edition

Scientific Realism How Science Tracks Truth

By Stathis Psillos Copyright 1999
    368 Pages
    by Routledge

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    Scientific realism is the optimistic view that modern science is on the right track: that the world really is the way our best scientific theories describe it . In his book, Stathis Psillos gives us a detailed and comprehensive study which restores the intuitive plausibility of scientific realism. We see that throughout the twentieth century, scientific realism has been challenged by philosophical positions from all angles: from reductive empiricism, to instrumentalism and to modern sceptical empiricism.
    Scientific Realism explains that the history of science does not undermine the arguments for scientific realism, but instead makes it reasonable to accept scientific realism as the best philosophical account of science, its empirical success, its progress and its practice.
    Anyone wishing to gain a deeper understanding of the state of modern science and why scientific realism is plausible, should read this book.

    PART I Empiricism and the realist turn 1 Empiricism and theoretical discourse 2 Theories as instruments? 3 Carnap’s neutralism 4 In defence of scientific realism PART II Sceptical challenges 5 Resisting the pessimistic induction 6 Historical illustrations 7 Worrall’s structural realism 8 Underdetermination undermined PART III Recent alternatives to realism 9 Constructive empiricism scrutinised 10 NOA, cognitive perfection and entity realism PART IV Refilling the realist toolbox 11 Truth-likeness 12 Reference of theoretical terms


    Stathis Psillos (Author)

    Psillos constructed a sustained, instructive, and convincing overall argument for a coherent scientific realism within metaphysical realism. It is a striking feature of his defense that it is truly fair, even-handed, even charitable with respect to the rival positions, while subjecting them to a severe critique. As well as a huge challenge for any empiricist alternative, Psillos presents a challenge to scientific realists, for Psillos’ arguments lead inexorably to the specific scientific realism he presents. In both respects, this book is as topical and relevant and important today as it was at its publication.
    Bas C. van Fraassen, Metascience