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Can Humeans be Scientific Realists?

Guo, Bixin (2022) Can Humeans be Scientific Realists? [Preprint]

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Abstract

Many philosophers who defend a Humean account of laws of nature also endorse scientific realism, such as David Lewis and Barry Loewer. It seems as if scientific realism and Humean accounts are orthogonal to, and so are naturally compatible with, one another. I argue otherwise: Humean accounts of laws are at odds with scientific realism in a way that would require significant changes to the standard formulations of scientific realism or Humean accounts to reconcile the two. I focus on two of the most prominent Humean accounts, Lewis' Best System Account and Loewer's Package Deal Account, as examples and argue: Humean accounts like Loewer's, which take the fundamental ontology and laws as a package deal, conflict with scientific realism, while Humean accounts that do not take a package deal, such as Lewis's, do not conform to scientific practice.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Guo, Bixin
Keywords: Humean Accounts of Laws, Scientific Realism, Scientific Practice, Objectivity, Scientific Objects
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
General Issues > Laws of Nature
General Issues > Philosophers of Science
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Depositing User: Bixin Guo
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2023 20:32
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2023 20:32
Item ID: 22717
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
General Issues > Laws of Nature
General Issues > Philosophers of Science
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Date: 2022
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/22717

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