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Sherrilyn Roush

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199274734

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199274738.001.0001

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Real Anti‐realism: The Evidential Approach

Real Anti‐realism: The Evidential Approach

Chapter:
(p.189) 6 Real Anti‐realism: The Evidential Approach
Source:
Tracking Truth
Author(s):

Sherrilyn Roush (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199274738.003.0006

This chapter argues that confirmation theory is relevant to the debate between epistemological realism and anti-realism about scientific theories, because typical realist and anti-realist claims about evidence are measure-dependent. It contends that no known measure makes Constructive Empiricism viable, but this is not the victory for the realist that it is assumed to be. Using the measure (standard of evidence) most suited to defending the realist’s general claims, it is argued that this standard is not actually fulfilled for any high-level theories in science. However, it is fulfilled for many low-level claims that go beyond observables. Whether the catch-all for a hypothesis can be evaluated is the crucial question for realism and anti-realism.

Keywords:   realism, anti-realism, evidence, observables, confirmation measure, empirical equivalence, atom, catch-all, constructive empiricism

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