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Exceeding Our GraspScience, History, and the Problem of Unconceived Alternatives$
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P. Kyle Stanford

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195174083

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0195174089.001.0001

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 Realism, Pessimism, and Underdetermination

 Realism, Pessimism, and Underdetermination

Chapter:
(p.3) 1 Realism, Pessimism, and Underdetermination
Source:
Exceeding Our Grasp
Author(s):

P. Kyle Stanford (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0195174089.003.0001

This chapter begins with a discussion of scientific realism. It then looks at some reasons that have been given for doubting that the pessimistic induction and the underdetermination of theories by evidence really should lead us to withhold belief in the claims of the best scientific theories. It is argued that the most powerful challenge to scientific realism has yet to be formulated, but emerges naturally from a systematic consideration of the reasons that the much more famous challenges offered by the pessimistic induction, and that the underdetermination of theories by evidence have left scientific realists unconvinced of their significance.

Keywords:   scientific theories, scientific realism, pessimistic induction, scientific theories

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