Constructive Realism and Scientific Progress

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Abstract:

This paper exploits the language of structuralism, as it has recently been developed with stunning effectiveness in defining the relations between confirmation, empirical progress and truth approximation, to concisely clarify the fundamental problem of the classical Lakatos concept of scientific progress, and to compare its way of evaluation to the real problems of scientists facing the far from perfect theories they wish to improve and defend against competitors.

I opt basically for the structuralist terminology adopted in Kuipers (2000), because that is balanced with care to deal with a range of issues far wider than the one dealt with in this contribution. It should be added that this does not commit me to any position on any subject, because structuralism is not a (meta-) theory, it is a language, able to express anything that can be said in other concept systems created to describe knowledge and its dynamics.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2005

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