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The pessimistic meta-induction: obsolete through scientific progress?


Müller, Florian (2016). The pessimistic meta-induction: obsolete through scientific progress? International Studies in the Philosophy of Science, 29(4):393-412.

Abstract

Recently, Fahrbach and Park have argued that the pessimistic meta-induction (PMI) about scientific theories is unsound. They claim that this very argument does not properly take into account scientific progress, particularly during the twentieth century. They also propose amended arguments in favour of scientific realism, which are supposed to properly reflect the history of science. I try to show that what I call the argument from scientific progress cannot explain satisfactorily why the current (best) theories should have reached a degree of success that excludes their future refutations and allows the inference to their truth. I further argue that this line of argumentation dismisses the burden of proof in a rather unfair manner by using a delaying tactic to postpone the question about the validity of the PMI in the future.

Abstract

Recently, Fahrbach and Park have argued that the pessimistic meta-induction (PMI) about scientific theories is unsound. They claim that this very argument does not properly take into account scientific progress, particularly during the twentieth century. They also propose amended arguments in favour of scientific realism, which are supposed to properly reflect the history of science. I try to show that what I call the argument from scientific progress cannot explain satisfactorily why the current (best) theories should have reached a degree of success that excludes their future refutations and allows the inference to their truth. I further argue that this line of argumentation dismisses the burden of proof in a rather unfair manner by using a delaying tactic to postpone the question about the validity of the PMI in the future.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of History
Dewey Decimal Classification:100 Philosophy
900 History
Uncontrolled Keywords:Scientific Realism, Pessimistic Meta-induction, No-miracles-Argument, Argument from Scientific Progress, scientific progress, scientific success
Language:English
Date:2016
Deposited On:28 Dec 2016 08:28
Last Modified:06 Feb 2017 14:20
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:0269-8595
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/02698595.2015.1195144
Official URL:http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02698595.2015.1195144

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