Scientific realism debate in the philosophy of science

Özer, Hüsnü
The primary concern of this piece of work is to reconsider scientific realism debate in the philosophy of science. Accordingly, the overall aim is to come up with the clues of a viable scientific realist attitude in the face of anti-realist interpretations of scientific theories. To accomplish this aim, I make use of two modified versions of scientific realism, that is, ‘epistemic structural realism’ and ‘entity realism’. Epistemic structural realism is a realist position of which proponents claim that the only knowable part of the reality is the structure of it which is expressed by the mathematical equations of our best scientific theories. On the other hand, according to entity realism, the only assured knowledge obtained from scientific theories is the existence of theoretical entities posited by these theories. I argue that a combination of the properly construed versions of these two positions might fulfill the afore-mentioned aim of this thesis.


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The main purpose of the present study is to show that scientific realism is still worth advocating despite its vulnerability in the face of anti-realist objections. For, it does not seem possible to ‘do science’ without realist commitments. The second purpose of this study is to investigate the plausibility of the novel versions of realism in the sense that whether they can satisfactorily respond to the anti-realist objections. Regarding the main purpose, I try to show that theoretical terms are neither red...
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Sarıhan, Işık; Temürcü, Ceyhan; Sayan, Erdinç; Department of Cognitive Sciences (2010)
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Kamözüt, Mehmet Cem; Sayan, Erdinç; Department of Philosophy (2002)
The idea of resolving a philosophical problem by reference to the authority of science is problematic. Nevertheless, such attempts spread among philosophers especially after the development of quantum theory. In this thesis I will argue that quantum mechanics cannot be used to support any forms of idealism or relativism. To this end, I introduce a realistic interpretation of quantum mechanics which is in many respects more favorable than the other alternatives suggested so far. The interpretation that I pro...
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In this study, the standpoint that discourse on ethics is impossible is examined. As Ludwig Wittgenstein is the first philosopher who explicitly said that ethics is inexpressible, the main concentration is on Wittgenstein’s conception of ethics. Analytic philosophy’s questions regarding ethics are about the meaning of the expressions of value rather than conduct. It is generally recognized that the distinction between these questions and the emphasis on the definition of value judgements starts with G.E. Mo...
Citation Formats
H. Özer, “Scientific realism debate in the philosophy of science,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2010.