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Retention Myths vs. Well-Managed Resources: Promises and Failings of Structural Realism

Delhotel, Jean-Michel (2014) Retention Myths vs. Well-Managed Resources: Promises and Failings of Structural Realism. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Turning away from entities and focusing instead exclusively on ‘structural’ aspects of scientific theories has been advocated as a cogent response to objections levelled at realist conceptions of the aim and success of science. Physical theories whose (predictive) past successes are genuine would, in particular, share with their successors structural traits that would ultimately latch on to ‘structural’ features of the natural world. Motives for subscribing to Structural Realism are reviewed and discussed. It is argued that structural retention claims lose their force if one gives up merely historical readings of the transition from Galilean-relativistic classical mechanics to the ‘special’ theory of relativity, heeding instead basic requirements that lead to their common derivation. Further cause for scepticism is found upon realising that the basic mathematical framework of quantum theory essentially reflects its predictive purpose, without any necessary input, be it of a ‘structural’ kind, from the physical world.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Delhotel, Jean-Micheljmrl.delhotel@alumni.lse.ac.uk
Keywords: Scientific Realism, Structural Realism, Pessimistic Meta-induction,Special Relativity, Quantum Theory
Subjects: General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
General Issues > Structure of Theories
General Issues > Theory Change
Depositing User: Dr Jean-Michel Delhotel
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2014 18:28
Last Modified: 25 Jun 2014 18:28
Item ID: 10789
Subjects: General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
General Issues > Structure of Theories
General Issues > Theory Change
Date: June 2014
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/10789

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