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Ontological Order in Scientific Explanation

Park, Seungbae (2003) Ontological Order in Scientific Explanation.


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A scientific theory is successful, according to Stanford (2000), because it is sufficiently observationally similar to its corresponding true theory. The Ptolemaic theory, for example, is successful because it is sufficiently similar to the Copernican theory at the observational level. The suggestion meets the scientific realists’ request to explain the success of science without committing to the (approximate) truth of successful scientific theories. I argue that Stanford’s proposal has a conceptual flaw. A conceptually sound explanation, I claim, respects the ontological order between properties. A dependent property is to be explained in terms of its underlying property, not the other way around. The applicability of this point goes well beyond the realm of the debate between scientific realists and antirealists. Any philosophers should keep the point in mind when they attempt to give an explanation of a property in their field whatever it may be.

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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Park, Seungbae
Keywords: Scientific Realism, Scientific Explanation
Subjects: General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Depositing User: Dr. Seungbae Park
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2019 14:01
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2019 14:01
Item ID: 15603
Subjects: General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Date: 2003

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