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Idealisations and the No-Miracle Argument

Ruyant, Quentin (2022) Idealisations and the No-Miracle Argument. [Preprint]


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The fact that many scientific models are idealised, and therefore incorporate known falsehoods, seems to undermine the idea that science aims at truth. Various authors have proposed different solutions to this problem: they have claimed that idealisations are harmless because models can be "de-idealised", that the function of idealisations is to isolate explanatory relevant factors, or that idealised models still convey veridical modal information. I argue that even if these strategies succeed in making idealisations compatible with theoretical truth, a deeper problem remains: the fact that idealisations improve the explanatory power of models contradicts the main argument for scientific realism, which is based on the idea that explanatory virtues are truth-conducive. There does not seem to be any simple solution to this problem.

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Item Type: Preprint
Keywords: Scientific realism Idealisations
Subjects: General Issues > Models and Idealization
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Depositing User: Mr. Quentin Ruyant
Date Deposited: 06 May 2022 15:54
Last Modified: 06 May 2022 15:54
Item ID: 20547
Subjects: General Issues > Models and Idealization
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Date: 2022

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