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Scientific Realism, the Galilean Strategy, and Representation

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Abstract:

This paper critically reviews Philip Kitcher's most recent epistemology of science, real realism. I argue that this view is unstable under different understandings of the term 'representation', and that the arguments offered for the position are either unsound or invalid depending on the understanding employed. Suitably modified those arguments are however convincing in favor of a deflationary version of real realism, which I refer to as the bare view. The bare view accepts Kitcher's Galilean strategy, and the ensuing commitment to the existence of unobservables; but it does not trade on a correspondence or copy theory of representation. So the bare view, unlike real realism, does not entail that our representations match reality even approximately.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-06-01

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