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Scientific Realism

  • Kartonierter Einband
  • 184 Seiten
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The increasingly lively controversy over scientific realism has become one of the principal themes of recent philosophy. 1 In watc... Weiterlesen
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The increasingly lively controversy over scientific realism has become one of the principal themes of recent philosophy. 1 In watching this controversy unfold in the rather technical way currently in vogue, it has seemed to me that it would be useful to view these contemporary disputes against the background of such older epistemological issues as fallibilism, scepticism, relativism, and the traditional realism/idealism debate. This, then, is the object of the present book, which will recon sider the newer concerns about scientific realism in the context of these older philosophical themes. Historically, realism concerns itself with the real existence of things that do not "meet the eye" - with suprasensible entities that lie beyond the reach of human perception. In medieval times, discussions about realism focused upon universals. Recognizing that there are physical objects such as cats and triangular objects and red tomatoes, the medievels debated whether such "abstract objects" as cathood and triangularity and redness also exist by way of having a reality indepen dent of the concretely real things that exhibit them. Three fundamen tally different positions were defended: (1) Nominalism. Abstracta have no independent existence as such: they only "exist" in and through the objects that exhibit them. Only particulars (individual substances) exist. Abstract "objects" are existents in name only, mere thought fictions by whose means we address concrete particular things. (2) Realism. Abstracta have an independent existence as such.

Nicholas Rescher is University Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh where he also served for many years as Director of the Center for Philosophy of Science. He is a former president of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association, and has also served as President of the American Catholic Philosophical Association, the Americna Metaphysical Society, the American G. W. Leibniz Society, and the C. S. Peirce Society. An honorary member of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, he has been elected to membership in the European Academy of Arts and Sciences (Academia Europaea), the Institut International de Philosophie, and several other learned academies. Having held visiting lectureships at Oxford, Constance, Salamanca, Munich, and Marburg, Professor Rescher has received six honorary degrees from universities on three continents. Author of some hundred books ranging over many areas of philosophy, over a dozen of them translated into other languages, he was awarded the Alexander von Humboldt Prize for Humanistic Scholarship in 1984.


One / Problems of Scientific Realism.- 1. Scientific Realism.- 2. The Problematic Character of Scientific Realism: Current Science Does Not Do the Job.- 3. Future Science Does Not Do the Job.- Two / Scientific Progress as Nonconvergent.- 1. The Exploration Model and Its Implications.- 2. Theorizing as Inductive Projection.- 3. Scientific Revolutions as Potentially Unending.- 4. Is Later Lesser?.- Three / Ideal-Science Realism.- 1. Reality is Adequately Described Only by Ideal Science, Which is Something We Do Not Have.- 2. Scientific Truth as an Idealization.- 3. Ideal-State Realism as the Only Viable Option.- Four / Against Instrumentalism: Realism and the Task of Science.- 1. Against Instrumentalism: The Descriptive Purport of Science.- 2. Realism and the Aim of Science.- 3. The Pursuit of Truth.- 4. Anti-realism and "Rigorous Empiricism".- 5. The Price of Abandoning Realism.- Five / Schoolbook Science as a Basis for Realism.- 1. The Security/Definiteness Trade-off and the Contrast between Science and Common Sense.- 2. Schoolbook Science and "Soft" Knowledge.- 3. Schoolbook Science as a Basis for Realism.- Six / Disconnecting their Applicative Success from the Truth of Scientific Theories.- 1. Is Successful Applicability an Index of Truth?.- 2. Truth is NOT the Best Explanation of Success in Prediction and Explanation.- 3. Pragmatic Ambiguity.- 4. The Lesson.- Seven / The Anthropomorphic Character of Human Science.- 1. Scientific Relativism.- 2. The Problem of Extraterrestrial Science.- 3. The Potential Diversity of "Science".- 4. The One-World, One-Science Argument.- 5. The Anthropomorphic Character of Human Science.- 6. Relativistic Intimations.- Eight / Evolution's Role in the Success of Science.- 1. The Problem of Mind/Reality Coordination.- 2. The Cognitive Accessibility of Nature.- 3. A Closer Look at the Problem.- 4. "Our" Side.- 5. Nature's Side.- 6. Synthesis.- 7. Implications.- Nine / The Roots of Objectivity.- 1. The Cognitive Inexhaustibility of Things.- 2. The Cognitive Opacity of Real Things.- 3. The Corrigibility of Conceptions.- 4. Perspectives on Realism.- Ten / Metaphysical Realism and the Pragmatic Basis of Objectivity.- 1. The Existential Component of Realism.- 2. Realism in its Regulative/Pragmatic Aspect.- 3. Objectivity as a Requisite of Communication and Inquiry.- 4. The Utilitarian Imperative.- 5. Retrojustification: The Wisdom of Hindsight.- Eleven / Intimations of Idealism.- 1. The Idealistic Aspect of Metaphysical Realism.- 2. The Idealistic Aspect of Epistemological Realism.- 3. Conceptual Idealism.- 4. Is Man the Measure?.- 5. Conclusion.- Notes.- Index of Names.- Index of Subjects.


Titel: Scientific Realism
Untertitel: A Critical Reappraisal
EAN: 9789027725288
ISBN: 9027725284
Format: Kartonierter Einband
Herausgeber: Springer Netherlands
Anzahl Seiten: 184
Gewicht: 289g
Größe: H235mm x B155mm x T10mm
Jahr: 1987
Auflage: Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 1987

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