Scientific realism is, at the most general level, the view that the world described by science (perhaps ideal science) is the real world, as it is, independent of what we might take it to be. Within philosophy of science, it is often framed as an answer to the question "how is the success of science to be explained?" The debate over what the success of science involves centers primarily on the status of unobservable entities apparently talked about by scientific theories. Generally, those who are scientific realists assert that one can make reliable claims about unobservables (viz., that they have the same ontological status) as observables, as opposed to instrumentalism.
Scientific realism involves two basic positions. First, it is a set of claims about the features of an ideal scientific theory; an ideal theory is the sort of theory science aims to produce. Second, it is the commitment that science will eventually produce theories very much like an ideal theory and that science has done pretty well thus far in some domains. It is important to note that one might be a scientific realist regarding some sciences while not being a realist regarding others. For example, one might hold realist attitudes toward physics, chemistry and biology, and not toward economics, psychology and sociology.
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Other articles related to "scientific realism, realism, scientific":
... Scientific Realism and the Plasticity of Mind, Cambridge University Press, 1979 ... Images of Science Scientific Realism versus Constructive Empiricism, University of Chicago Press, 1985 ... Both Scientific Realism and the Plasticity of Mind and A Neurocomputational Perspective have also been reprinted ...
... his death, he was working on a study on rationality, realism, and the growth of knowledge ... professor Peter Godfrey-Smith discusses McMullin's views on Scientific realism in the book Theory and reality (University of Chicago Press, 2003, p. 178, 251, 264), citing McMullin's paper "A Case for Scientific Realism" in the book Scientific Realism, edited by Jarrett Leplin (University of California Press, 1984) ...
... One of the main arguments for scientific realism centers on the notion that scientific knowledge is progressive in nature, and that it is able to predict phenomena ... For example, a scientific realist would argue that science must derive some ontological support for atoms from the outstanding phenomenological success of all the theories ... Arguments for scientific realism often appeal to abductive reasoning or "inference to the best explanation" (Lipton, 2004) ...
Famous quotes containing the words realism and/or scientific:
“While we look to the dramatist to give romance to realism, we ask of the actor to give realism to romance.”
—Oscar Wilde (18541900)
“Now, I hold it is not decent for a scientific gent
To say another is an assat least, to all intent;
Nor should the individual who happens to be meant
Reply by heaving rocks at him to any great extent.”
—Bret Harte (18361902)