Cartwright objects that (a) we lack general laws of interaction allowing us to add causal influences in this way, (b) there is no reason to think that we can get super-laws that will be true and cover, (c) in nature there is only the actual cause and resultant trajectory. SR4     Theories are literally true (when they are) partly because their concepts “latch on to” or correspond to real properties (natural kinds, and the like) that causally underpin successful usage of the concepts. (1991), “Empirical Equivalence and Underdetermination”, Journal of Philosophy 88 (9), 449-472. Antirealists take a diametrically opposite view, that a theory should never be regarded as truth. Second, EStR requires a variant of the NMA (restricted to retention of structure) to uphold StR5. How do you think the roles of a case manager have changed with time? Critics complain that Cartwright confuses metaphysics and epistemology: even if we lack general laws of interaction, it does not follow that there are none. The problem is not how to extend our epistemic and semantic grasp to objects separated from us by a metaphysical chasm; it is the more ordinary, scientific problem of how to extend our grasp from nearby middle-sized objects with moderate energies to objects that are very large, very small, very distant from us spatiotemporally, and so forth. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Realists argue that observed gas behavior is as it is because of underlying molecular behavior; we have reason to believe the molecular hypothesis (by IBE) because it best explains the observed gas behavior. Kitcher, P. (1993), The Advancement of Science. Pragmatic acceptance involves non-epistemic commitments to use the theory in certain ways (basing research, experiments, and explanations on it, for example); commitments are neither true nor false; they are either vindicated or not. Why? Newton’s law of gravitation, FG = Gm1m2/r122, tells us what the gravitational force between two massive bodies is. Duhem, P. (1991/1954/1906), The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory. But it is conceivable that no amount of human inquiry, even taken to the ideal limit, will decide which; so though one disjunct is true, neither may be assertible in the ideal limit. These conventions cannot be experimentally refuted or confirmed since experiments only have physical meaning relative to them. Unfortunately, anything we do to specify the correct reference scheme for our language and incorporate it into our total theory is subject to this permutation argument. Kantians think that physical space must be Euclidean because only Euclidean geometry is consistent with the form of our sensibility. Conclusion. Musgrave, A. The positivists, he argued, confuse the event of positing with the object posited. The term passes through the community so that reference is preserved. Anti-realism Anti-realism and realism are the two sides of a philosophical discussion behind the entire foundation of acknowledged scientific fact. But in the continuous gradation between seeing with the unaided eye, with binoculars, with an optical microscope, with an electron microscope, and so on, there is no sharp cut-off between being observable and being unobservable where we could non-arbitrarily say: beyond this we cannot trust the evidence of our senses or apply terms with confidence. First, it satisfies an adequacy condition (referred to as Convention T): for every sentence P (of L), when P is run through the procedure specified by the definition, “P” is true (in L) if and only if P. Thus, for example, “Electrons exist” is true-in-English if and only if electrons exist, and so forth. Empiricists attempt to set limits: we should believe only what science tells us about observables. The Positivism Part of Logical Positivism, Criticisms of the Observational-Theoretical Distinction, Putnam’s Critique of Positivistic Theory of Meaning, Putnam’s and Boyd’s Critique of Positivistic Philosophy of Science, The Semantic View of Theories and Empirical Adequacy, The Argument from Empirically Equivalent Theories, Constructive Empiricism, IBE, and Explanation, Historical Challenges to Scientific Realism, Laudan’s Challenge: The Pessimistic Induction, Semantic Challenges to Scientific Realism. Then A’ is an empirical substructure of A, the result of restricting the original domain to observables and its properties and relations accordingly. (2007), Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalized. Take, for example, Gauss’s supposed mountaintop triangulation experiment to test whether space is Euclidean (§2a). When scientific realism is mentioned in the literature, usually some version of SR is intended. In the context of our debates, OStR is supposed to avoid the epistemological problems of EStR: qua objects understood as structural nodes, electrons are in principle no more unknowable (or knowable) than Obama or ordinary physical objects. In {Newton’s theory of gravitation + there is no transneptunian planet}, “gravitation” has one meaning; in {Newton’s theory of gravitation + there are transneptunian planets}, it has another meaning. Stanford, P.K. Putnam, H. (2015), “Naturalism, Realism, and Normativity”, Journal of the American Philosophical Association 1(2), 312-328. Cartwright replies that the unifying ideal of such super-laws is merely a dogma. For this to be a concrete (physical) fact, God would have had to create some objects—nucleons with symmetrically related isospin states or some more fundamental objects that compose nucleons—to occupy the neutron- and proton-nodes of the SU(2) group-structure. If this were true, then all standard theses about progress would be undermined. IBE is a rule guiding rational choice among rival hypotheses. First, the meaning of any T-term is theory-relative since it is determined by the term’s deductive connections within a theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Ever since Newton, a certain realist ideal of science was influential: a theory that would explain all phenomena as the effects of moving atoms subject to forces. (1980), The Scientific Image. So H2O is part of the English meaning of “water” and (2) is satisfied: meaning determines extension since extension is part of the meaning. First, there is epistemological structural realism (EStR), endorsed by Poincaré, Worrall, and logical positivists in the Ramseyfied-theory tradition: electrons are objects as Obama is an object, but, unlike Obama, science can never discover anything about electrons’ natures other than their structural relations. Our best science suggests that natural kinds do not exist: water, for example, is not a simple natural kind, H2O, but a more complicated structure of constantly changing polymeric variations, and biological species are anything but simple kinds. This week we will again debate a controversial issue together in class. After making a selection, click one of the export format buttons. We have standard ways of cross checking to ensure that what we are “seeing’ with an instrument or calculating with a theory is reliable even if not “directly” observable. JavaScript is disabled for your browser. Second, many critics find van Fraassen’s agnosticism about unobservables unwarrantedly selective. The term “light-wave” in Fresnel’s usage referred to light, no matter what its constitution is, in some contexts and to what satisfies the description “the oscillations of ethereal molecules” in other contexts. Suppose too that another planet, Twin-Earth, is just like Earth except that a different liquid, whose chemical nature is XYZ, is the clear, tasteless, potable, nourishing liquid found in lakes and rivers. According to the pessimistic induction argument, every major scientific theory throughout history has been shown to be false, (i.e. Finally, critics object to structuralists’ interpretations of the history. The explanandum logically follows from the explanantia, one of which is a law-like regularity. They could, however, be developed without recourse to “hidden mechanisms” and independently of specific hypotheses about the reality underlying the phenomena. New York: Free Press. Moreover, scientific developments undermined several theses formerly taken as necessarily true. Natural kinds seem to be an unnecessary traditional philosophical apparatus imposed on realism without the support of, and indeed undermined by, science. Intuitively, truth* and reference* are not truth and reference but gerrymandered relations that mimic truth-in-M and refers-in-M, where M can be entirely arbitrary, provided it has enough objects in its domain. If (T and A) and (T’ and A) are empirically equivalent, then any evidence E confirms/infirms T to degree n if and only if E confirms/infirms T’ to degree n. Whether 1A is plausible depends on what A is. According to the deductive-nomological (DN) model of explanation, pioneered by Hempel (1965), “Event b occurred because event a occurred” is elliptical for an argument like: “a is an event of kind A, b is an event of kind B, and if any A-event occurs, a B-event will occur; a occurred; therefore b occurred”. Leeds, S. (1995), “Truth, Correspondence, and Success”, Philosophical Studies 79 (1), 1-36. Fourth, observation is theory-infected: what we can both observe and employ as evidence is a function of the language, concepts, and theories we possess. Worrall, J. Fine criticizes these limits for reasons given in §5a and §6b—the observable-unobservable distinction cannot be drawn in a manner that would motivate skepticism or agnosticism about unobservables but not about observables. Global vs Local Realism/Anti-realism Here, "global" refers to all of science, and "local" refers to specific scientific theories or disciplines. What is observable is variously taken as: what is detectable by human senses without instruments (Jupiter’s moons); what can be “directly” measured as opposed to “indirectly” calculated; what is detectable by humans-qua-natural-measuring-instruments (as thermometers measure temperature, humans “measure” observables). Hardin and Rosenburg (1982) exploit the idea that one can successfully refer to X (by being suitably causally linked to X) while having (largely) false beliefs about X. Newtonian mechanics, phlogiston theory, humors in medicine) and thus that their theoretical objects do not exist. Second, they must respond to the trust argument. 8 (Here we replace each SR thesis in §5 with an analogous StR thesis.). Our experience is limited in many ways, including lacking direct access to: medium-sized events in spatiotemporally remote regions, events involving very small or very large dimensions, very small or very large mass-energy, and so forth. Yes, we build them to be successful, but their scope and novel predictions generally greatly outstrip our initial intentions. He rejected both a veil of perception and the possibility of our representing the noumenal reality lying behind it. Epistemic acceptance is belief; beliefs are either true or false. However, practice seems Janus-faced here: the history of modern physics is one of disunity leading to unity leading to disunity, and so forth. Realist truth and reference are word-world/thought-world correspondences (SR4), an intuitively plausible view with a respectable pedigree going back to Aristotle. SR realists add substantive word-world correspondences, a policy that serves no useful purpose. (2007), A Metaphysics for Scientific Realism: Knowing the Unobservable. Intuitively, the meaning of a theoretical term like “electron” is specified by: “electron” means “the thing x that plays the Θ-role”, where Θ is the theory of electrons. So, Thomson, early Bohr, later Bohr, Heisenberg, and Schrödinger were (a) talking about a different entity and (b) changing the meaning of “electron”. Van Fraassen needs a different account of theories if he is to agree with realists about literal content and there being a fact of the matter about empirically equivalent theories. (1998), “Semirealism”, Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science 29 (3), 391-408. As realists rely on IBE, antirealists rely on EET: The argument appears to be valid, but each of its premises can be challenged (Boyd 1973; Laudan and Leplin 1991). In idealist (or internalist) semantics content drives and the world follows: the world is whatever satisfies the descriptive content of our thoughts; the content of “water” is the clear, tasteless, potable, nourishing liquid found in lakes and rivers. Friedman, M. (1999), Reconsidering Logical Positivism. Moreover, Cartwright arguably conflates different kinds of laws: in classical settings, the fundamental laws are Newton’s laws of motion, and his F = ma is the super-law that combines Newton’s gravitational and Coulomb’s electrostatic laws (Wilson 1998). A central problem for empiricists becomes that of drawing a line between objectionable metaphysics and legitimate science (portions of which seem to be as removed from experience as metaphysics seems to be). A consistent constructive empiricist will have trouble letting science determine what is unobservable and using that determination to guide her epistemic policy—often she will not know what not to believe. Their actions are successful and rely on their beliefs that current theories can be depended upon to produce a likelihood of success. realism is more effective for achieving scientific progress than antirealism is, and hence that scientists should choose realism over antirealism. In realist (or externalist) semantics the world leads and content follows: content is determined causally and historically by the way world is; the content of “water” is H2O. Truth versus Empirical Adequacy. More generally, Putnam argues, truth cannot be identified with any epistemic notion E: take any revisable proposition p that satisfies E, we already know that p might not be true; so being E does not amount to being true. London: Routledge. The former are retained in later theories; the latter are not. But if the facticity and explanatory components clash in this way, the third component is in trouble also. Kitcher (1993) distinguishes a theory’s working and presuppositional posits. The fact that a theory satisfies our pragmatic desiderata has no implications for its being true or empirically adequate, contrary to what IBE-realists maintain. Yes, scientists conventionally introduce posits (an event) as Stoney introduced the term “electron” in 1894: “electron” means “the fundamental unit of electric charge that permanently attaches to atoms”. This formal result is the basis of Putnam’s argument that even our best theory must fail to single out its intended model (reference scheme). There is no commonality—in ontology, methodology, observational base, or goals/values—that P and P* scientists can use to rationally adjudicate their disagreements. This is NOA: we should accept the certified results of science on a par with homely truths. These two features of the classical view are: (1)  To know the meaning of F is to be in a certain psychological state (of grasping F’s associated concept and knowing it is the meaning of “F”); (2)  The meaning of F determines the extension of F in the sense that, if two terms have the same meaning, they must have the same extension. In order to give Premise 1 bite, the theories must have empirical consequences, which they will have only with the help of auxiliary hypotheses, A (§4). Second, we should replace the DN model of explanation with a simulacrum account: explanations confer intelligibility by fitting staged mathematical descriptions of the phenomena to an idealized mathematical model provided by the theory by means of modeling techniques that are generally “rigged” and typically ignore (as negligible) disturbing forces or mathematically incorporate them (often inconsistently). The new science seems to postulate “hidden” causal powers without a legitimate epistemological or semantic grounding. Poincaré proposed conventionalism: we decide conventionally that geometry is Euclidean, forces are Newtonian, light travels in Euclidean straight lines, and we see if experimental results will fit those conventions. In §5e we distinguished ground-level and meta-level uses of IBE and suggested that this strategy might be more promising for the latter than the former. Friedman (1982) questions whether van Fraassen achieves this. Thus SR is the only acceptable philosophy of science. Even if God created nothing concrete, it would still be a structural (mathematical) fact that neutrons and protons, if they exist, form an isospin doublet related by SU(2) symmetry. Recognizing the difficulties of basing antirealism on a “broken-backed” linguistic distinction between O-terms and T-terms, he allows our judgments about unobservables to be literally construed but, he argues, our evidence can never entitle us to our beliefs about unobservables.