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Why Should We Be Pessimistic about Antirealists and Pessimists?

Park, Seungbae (2017) Why Should We Be Pessimistic about Antirealists and Pessimists?

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Abstract

The pessimistic induction over scientific theories (Poincaré, 1905/1952) holds that present theories will be overthrown as were past theories. The pessimistic induction over scientists (Stanford, 2006) holds that present scientists cannot conceive of future theories just as past scientists could not conceive of present theories. The pessimistic induction over realists (Wray, 2013) holds that present realists are wrong about present theories just as past realists were wrong about past theories. The pessimistic induction over antirealist theories (Park, 2014) holds that the latest antirealist explanation of the success of science (Lyons, 2003) has hidden problems just as its eight predecessors did. In this paper, I (i) criticize the pessimistic inductions over scientific theories, scientists, and realists, (ii) introduce a pessimistic induction over antirealist theories, and then (iii) construct two new pessimistic inductions. One is a pessimistic induction over antirealists according to which the author of the latest antirealist proposal cannot see hidden problems with his proposal just as his antirealist predecessors could not see hidden problems with their proposals. The other is the pessimistic induction over pessimists according to which since past pessimists have been wrong about their present scientific theories from the early 20th century to the early 21st century, future pessimists will also be wrong about their present scientific theories from the early 21st century to the early 22nd century.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
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Park, Seungbae
Keywords: Historical Optimism, Pessimistic Induction, Scientific Antirealism, Scientific Realism
Subjects: General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Depositing User: Dr. Seungbae Park
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2019 15:28
Last Modified: 23 Jan 2019 15:28
Item ID: 15635
Subjects: General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Date: 2017
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/15635

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