This chapter begins by addressing the question: what is scientific realism? It then considers the most influential arguments for and against scientific realism. The arguments for are the ‘success argument’ and related explanationist arguments. The arguments against are the ‘underdetermination argument’, which starts from the claim that theories always have empirically equivalent rivals; and the ‘pessimistic meta-induction’, which starts from a bleak view of the accuracy of past scientific theories.
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