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A Confrontation of Convergent Realism

Vickers, P

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For many years—and with some energy since Laudan’s “Confutation of Convergent Realism” (1981)—the scientific realist has sought to accommodate examples of false-yet-successful theories in the history of science. One of the most prominent strategies is to identify ‘success fueling’ components of false theories that themselves are at least approximately true (judging by our current understanding). In this article I develop both sides of the debate, introducing new challenges from the history of science as well as suggesting adjustments to the divide et impera realist strategy. A new ‘recipe’ for the prospective identification of (at least some) working/idle posits is considered.


Vickers, P. (2013). A Confrontation of Convergent Realism. Philosophy of Science, 80(2), 189-211.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Apr 1, 2013
Deposit Date Apr 9, 2013
Publicly Available Date May 23, 2013
Journal Philosophy of Science
Print ISSN 0031-8248
Publisher Philosophy of Science Association
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 80
Issue 2
Pages 189-211


Accepted Journal Article (773 Kb)

Copyright Statement
© 2013 by the Philosophy of Science Association.

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