PDC Homepage

Home » Products » Purchase

Journal of Philosophical Research

Volume 40, Issue Supplement, 2015

Selected Papers from the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy

Alberto Cordero
Pages 31-43
DOI: 10.5840/jpr201540Supplement7

On Scientific Realism and Naturalism

This paper looks at the current realism/antirealism debate in philosophy of science as a dispute between two objectivist interpretations of modern empirical success: Scientific realism and scientific antirealism. The paper traces the debate to a split in responses to the historicist relativism that gained force in the 1960s; it concentrates on the discussions that led to selectivism, a promising realist strategy that focuses on theory-parts rather than whole theories. The paper examines the merits and difficulties of selectivism and argues for a naturalist approach to its present deficiencies, particularly regarding the need for a more precise identification of theory—parts worthy of realist interpretation.