Title

Extending the argument from unconceived alternatives : observations, models, predictions, explanations, methods, instruments, experiments, and values

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

Synthese

Publication Date

6-21-2016

Volume

Advance online publication

First Page

1

Last Page

13

Publisher

Springer Netherlands

Keywords

Unconceived alternatives, Kyle Stanford, Anti-Realism, Science, Scientific realism, Scientific progress, Underdetermination of theories by evidence

Abstract

Stanford’s argument against scientific realism focuses on theories, just as many earlier arguments from inconceivability have. However, there are possible arguments against scientific realism involving unconceived (or inconceivable) entities of different types: observations, models, predictions, explanations, methods, instruments, experiments, and values. This paper charts such arguments. In combination, they present the strongest challenge yet to scientific realism.

DOI

10.1007/s11229-016-1132-y

Print ISSN

00397857

E-ISSN

15730964

Funding Information

This paper was supported by: the Research Grants Council, Hong Kong (‘The Instrument of Science’, Humanities and Social Sciences Prestigious Fellowship); and also by the Institute of Advanced Study, Durham University, in association with the European Union (COFUND Senior Research Fellowship).

Publisher Statement

Copyright © Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016. Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.

Full-text Version

Publisher’s Version

Recommended Citation

Rowbottom, D.P. (2016). Extending the argument from unconceived alternatives: Observations, models, predictions, explanations, methods, instruments, experiments, and values. Synthese. Advance online publication, 1-13. doi: 10.1007/s11229-016-1132-y