Research updates

Preprint: “Understanding the Success of Science”

See here for a forthcoming paper “Understanding the Success of Science” along with a short “Reply to Potochnik.” This should appear in a volume edited by K. Khalifa, I. Lawler & E. Shech, Scientific Understanding and Representation: Modeling in the Physical Sciences, Routledge.

Potochnik’s contributions to the volume are available here: “Truth and Reality: How to Be a Scientific Realist Without Believing Scientific Theories Should Be True” and “Different Ways to Be a Realist: Reply to Pincock“.

Abstract: This chapter sketches a new defense of scientific realism based on understanding the success of science and then considers what features understanding must have for this defense to succeed. It argues that if scientific realism involves knowledge of unobservables, then the relevant state of understanding some phenomenon must involve grasping that the phenomenon occurs independently of the scientist’s actions or community. The chapter concludes by arguing that both Giere and Potochnik are unable to provide this type of defense of scientific realism.