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date: 17 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

What is scientific realism? The literature provides a bewildering variety of answers. This article starts by addressing this question. It goes on to discuss 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. The approach here is naturalistic.

Keywords: scientific realism, explanationist arguments, underdetermination argument, meta-induction, scientific theories, naturalistic approach

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