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On McMullin's Appreciation of Realism Concerning the Sciences

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2022


Constructive empiricism is indeed set squarely within a common sense realism that was foreign to much of the empiricist tradition. But I do not see this common sense realism, which I take myself to share with many scientific realists, as harboring or leading to scientific realism. That is in part because of the way I separate the opposition between empiricist and realist understanding of science from other issues that divide us in epistemology. This discussion brought to light our quite different conceptions of what is at issue between empiricists and realists in this area. After a response to McMullin's critique, however, I will be especially concerned to respond to his challenging proposal for a shift in the debate over realism concerning the sciences.

Research Article
Copyright © The Philosophy of Science Association

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I would like to add my thanks also to our colleagues at the Catholic University of Leuven and at University College Dublin who provided a hospitable and stimulating context for our ongoing debate, as well as to McMullin himself for his patient and careful response to the constructive empiricist alternative to scientific realism.


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