Many formulations of scientific realism (SR) include some commitment to metaphysical realism (MR). On the other hand, authors like Schlick, Carnap and Putnam held forms of scientific realism coupled with metaphysical antirealism (and this has analogies in Kant). So we might ask: do scientific realists really need MR? or is MR already implied by SR, so that SR is actually incompatible with metaphysical antirealism? And if MR must really be added to SR, why is that so? And which additional arguments scientific realists need to support it? After reviewing and classifying a number of different kinds of realisms, metaphysical and not, I answer that SR and MR are logically independent of each other, so that there is no logical inconsistency in holding SR while rejecting MR. However, I argue that the “no miracle” argument (NMA) not only is the “ultimate” argument for SR, but by the same token it also supports MR. Therefore one cannot effectively defend SR without also subscribing to MR, but this can be done at no additional argumentative cost. I show this by discussing not only the standard version of the NMA, but also three more versions which are not usually considered as such in the literature.

Scientific Realism, Metaphysical Antirealism and the No Miracle Arguments

Alai, Mario
2020-01-01

Abstract

Many formulations of scientific realism (SR) include some commitment to metaphysical realism (MR). On the other hand, authors like Schlick, Carnap and Putnam held forms of scientific realism coupled with metaphysical antirealism (and this has analogies in Kant). So we might ask: do scientific realists really need MR? or is MR already implied by SR, so that SR is actually incompatible with metaphysical antirealism? And if MR must really be added to SR, why is that so? And which additional arguments scientific realists need to support it? After reviewing and classifying a number of different kinds of realisms, metaphysical and not, I answer that SR and MR are logically independent of each other, so that there is no logical inconsistency in holding SR while rejecting MR. However, I argue that the “no miracle” argument (NMA) not only is the “ultimate” argument for SR, but by the same token it also supports MR. Therefore one cannot effectively defend SR without also subscribing to MR, but this can be done at no additional argumentative cost. I show this by discussing not only the standard version of the NMA, but also three more versions which are not usually considered as such in the literature.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11576/2678533
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