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Retail Realism, the Individuation of Theoretical Entities, and the Case of the Muriatic Radical

Hricko, Jonathon (2018) Retail Realism, the Individuation of Theoretical Entities, and the Case of the Muriatic Radical. Individuation, Process, and Scientific Practices. pp. 259-278.

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Abstract

Retail realists advocate abandoning wholesale arguments, which concern the reality of theoretical entities in general, and embracing retail arguments, which concern the reality of particular kinds of theoretical entities. They can thus be realists about some and anti-realists about others. But realism about a kind of entity can take different forms depending on how retail realists individuate kinds of entities. This chapter introduces the notion of the inclusiveness of individuation: the more inclusively we individuate a kind of entity, the more theories there are in which it appears. The form of realism that retail realists accept regarding a particular kind of entity can be more selective or more encompassing depending on how inclusively they individuate that kind of entity. This chapter illustrates these ideas in terms of a case from the history of chemistry involving the hypothetical component of hydrochloric acid known as the muriatic radical.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Hricko, Jonathonjonathon.hricko@gmail.com
Keywords: scientific realism; individuation; history of chemistry; chlorine; hydrochloric acid; Carl Wilhelm Scheele; Antoine Lavoisier; Humphry Davy; Jöns Jacob Berzelius
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Chemistry
General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Depositing User: Jonathon Hricko
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2018 19:44
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2018 19:44
Item ID: 15205
Journal or Publication Title: Individuation, Process, and Scientific Practices
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Official URL: http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/view/10.1093/oso/...
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780190636814.003.0012
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Chemistry
General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Date: 2018
Page Range: pp. 259-278
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/15205

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