A selectionist explanation for the success and failures of science

  • Wray K
  • 17

    Readers

    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 15

    Citations

    Citations of this article.

Abstract

I argue that van Fraassen’s selectionist explanation for the success of science is superior to the realists’ explanation. Whereas realists argue that our current theories are successful because they accurately reflect the structure of the world, the selectionist claims that our current theories are successful because unsuccessful theories have been eliminated. I argue that, unlike the explanation proposed by the realist, the selectionist explanation can also account for the failures of once successful theories and the fact that sometimes two competing theories are both equally successful.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Instrumentalism
  • Predictive accuracy
  • Realism
  • Scientific success
  • Selectionist explanation
  • Van Fraassen

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document

Authors

  • K. Brad Wray

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free