There are two possible realist defense strategies against the pessimistic meta-induction and Laudan’s meta-modus tollens: the selective strategy, claiming that discarded theories are partially true, and the discontinuity strategy, denying that pessimism about past theories can be extended to current ones.Aradical version of discontinuity realism is proposed by Gerald Doppelt: rather than discriminating between true and false components within theories, he holds that superseded theories cannot be shown to be even partially true (except insofar they agree with current ones), while present best theories are demonstrably completely true. I argue that this position, running counter both the cumulativity of science and fallibilism, is untenable; it cannot account for the success of past theories, nor for the failures of current theories, and rather than shutting the door to the pessimistic historical objections it opens it wide. The best strategy, instead, joins the selective idea there was both some truth and some falsity in discarded theories, like in current ones, with the moderate discontinuity idea that the truth rate in present best theories is much greater than in past ones. Keywords Gerald Doppelt · Best theory realism · Selective realisms · Pessimistic

Resisting the historical objections to realism: Is Doppelt’s a viable solution?

ALAI, MARIO
2017-01-01

Abstract

There are two possible realist defense strategies against the pessimistic meta-induction and Laudan’s meta-modus tollens: the selective strategy, claiming that discarded theories are partially true, and the discontinuity strategy, denying that pessimism about past theories can be extended to current ones.Aradical version of discontinuity realism is proposed by Gerald Doppelt: rather than discriminating between true and false components within theories, he holds that superseded theories cannot be shown to be even partially true (except insofar they agree with current ones), while present best theories are demonstrably completely true. I argue that this position, running counter both the cumulativity of science and fallibilism, is untenable; it cannot account for the success of past theories, nor for the failures of current theories, and rather than shutting the door to the pessimistic historical objections it opens it wide. The best strategy, instead, joins the selective idea there was both some truth and some falsity in discarded theories, like in current ones, with the moderate discontinuity idea that the truth rate in present best theories is much greater than in past ones. Keywords Gerald Doppelt · Best theory realism · Selective realisms · Pessimistic
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11576/2634310
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