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Scientific Realism and Empirical Confirmation: a Puzzle

Allzén, Simon (2021) Scientific Realism and Empirical Confirmation: a Puzzle. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A, 90. pp. 153-159. ISSN 00393681

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Abstract

Scientific realism driven by inference to the best explanation (IBE) takes empirically confirmed objects to exist,independent,paceempiricism, of whether those objects are observable or not. This kind of realism, it has beenclaimed, does not need probabilistic reasoning to justify the claim that these objects exist. But I show that thereare scientific contexts in which a non-probabilistic IBE-driven realism leads to a puzzle. Since IBE can be appliedin scientific contexts in which empirical confirmation has not yet been reached, realists will in these contexts becommitted to the existence of empirically unconfirmed objects. As a consequence of such commitments, becausethey lack probabilistic features, the possible empirical confirmation of those objects is epistemically redundantwith respect to realism.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Allzén, Simonsimon.allzen@philosophy.su.se0000-0002-6124-8152
Keywords: Scientific realism, Theory Confirmation, Dark Matter, Inference to the Best Explanation, Theoretical Virtues, Non-Empirical Theory Confirmation
Subjects: General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
Specific Sciences > Physics > Cosmology
General Issues > Evidence
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Depositing User: Dr Simon Allzén
Date Deposited: 28 Oct 2021 03:52
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2021 03:52
Item ID: 19758
Journal or Publication Title: Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A
Publisher: Elsevier
Official URL: https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fautho...
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.shpsa.2021.10.008
Subjects: General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
Specific Sciences > Physics > Cosmology
General Issues > Evidence
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Date: 1 December 2021
Page Range: pp. 153-159
Volume: 90
ISSN: 00393681
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/19758

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