home c.v. papers blog courses etc.  

P.D. Magnus

Inductions, red herrings, and the best explanation for the mixed record of science

Published in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, December 2010.

Versions available

Abstract

Kyle Stanford has recently claimed to offer a new challenge to scientific realism. Taking his inspiration from the familiar Pessimistic Induction (PI), Stanford proposes a New Induction (NI). Contra the suggestion that the NI is a "red herring", I argue that it reveals something deep and important about science. The Problem of Unconceived Alternatives, which lies at the heart of the NI, yields a richer anti-realism than the PI. It explains why science falls short when it falls short, and so it might figure in the most coherent account of scientific practice. However, this best account will be antirealist in some respects and about some theories, but it will not be a sweeping antirealism about all or most of science.

The first on-line draft of this paper was posted January 5, 2008.

BibTeX

@ARTICLE(Magnus2010b,
	AUTHOR = {P.D. Magnus},
	TITLE = {Inductions, red herrings, and the best explanation for the mixed record of science},
	JOURNAL = BJPS,
	YEAR = {2010},
	VOLUME = {61},
	NUMBER = {4},
	MONTH = dec,
	PAGES = {803--819},
	DOI = {10.1093/bjps/axq004}
)
e-mail