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Presentation
Science: World under Construction
University of Southern Mississippi (2012)
  • Georgia Rae Rainer, University of Southern Mississippi
Abstract
Society naively accepts the position of scientific realism, which grants that science has an epistemic advantage in providing true theories about a mind-independent natural world. For realists, there is no distinction made between observable and unobservable entities in that both have the same ontological status that aid in the discovery of facts about the natural world. The opposing position, scientific anti-realism, traditionally denies the existence of a mind independent world and claims that the explanatory value of scientific theories is based not on truth or correlation to the perceived world, but rather how well the theory works within the paradigm where it is situated. Anti-realists frequently grant an ontological status to the observable entities but not unobservables yielding an empirical distinction between competing theories, which is warranted based on the restricted abilities of the unaided human senses. Superempirical values, such as parsimony and coherence, are merely a heuristic device for the reasoning apparatus of the human mind, and are not relevant deciding factors between paradigms or theories. I defend a variety of anti-realism in that there are no grounds to assert claims about a mind independent world, because we cannot apprehend objectivity beyond our perceptions. Science is only a pragmatic enterprise of constructing particular worlds, including facts and laws, based on sociological aspects such as, economics, politics, competition, and the relevant scientific community, that renders predictive value but has no ontological commitment to the observable or unobservable truth of scientific theories.
Disciplines
Publication Date
February 23, 2012
Citation Information
Georgia Rae Rainer. "Science: World under Construction" University of Southern Mississippi (2012)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/kenneth_curry/18/