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Philosophy of Science: Between the Natural Sciences, the Social Sciences, and the Humanities

  • Christian A
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I will first discuss a peculiarity of the realism-antirealism debate. Some authors defending antirealist positions in a philosophical discussion seem to be inconsistent with what they do when treating scientific subjects. In the latter situation, they behave as realists. This tension can be dissolved by distinguish- ing different discourses belonging to different levels of philosophical radicality. Depending on the respective level, certain presuppositions are either granted or questioned. I will then turn to a discussion of the miracle argument by discussing a simple example of curve fitting. In the example, multiple use-novel predictions are possible without indicating the truth of the fitting curve. Because this situation has similarities with real scientific cases, it sheds serious doubt upon the miracle argument. Next, I discuss the strategy of selective realism, especially its additional crucial component, the continuity argument. The continuity of some X in a series of theories, with X being responsible for the theories’ use-novel predictions, is taken to be a reliable indicator for the reality of X. However, the continuity of X could as well be due to the similarity of the theories in the series with an empirically very successful theory embodying X, without X being real. Thus, the two main arguments for scientific realism show severe weaknesses




Christian, A. (2018). Philosophy of Science: Between the Natural Sciences, the Social Sciences, and the Humanities (pp. 1–274). Retrieved from

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