Essay about The Scientific Of Scientific Realism

Essay about The Scientific Of Scientific Realism

Length: 1685 words (4.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Scientific realism is defined in terms of the truth of empirically proven scientific theories. A scientific realist is someone who thinks that all scientific theories aim to describe the universe as it is. Scientific realists believe the claim that there is true progress in science and whether the unobservable entities explained by science can really be taken as truth. The distinction between observable and unobservable entities is reflected by the human senses. For instance, a scientific realist believes in the existence of electrons because of empirical data despite not being able to see an electron with human senses. Within the philosophy of science, scientific realism answers the question of “How is the success of science to be explained?” It answers that by saying that a person can make valid claims about unobservable entities as observables. While there are differences in different dimensions of scientific realism, the general belief of realism is that mankind’s best scientific theories give true descriptions of both observable and unobservable aspects of our world.
An important individual in the school of scientific realism is Karl Popper. Karl Popper is regarded as one of the greatest philosophers of science of the 20th century. Popper outlined in his work, Realism and the Aim of Science, the school of realism and made his own arguments to back up the ideas of realism. Popper views the search for truth as “one of the strongest motives for scientific discovery”, just like realism does. He also is a proponent of the concept that science is progressive in nature just like realism claims. Popper was also a fan of the method of falsification, which was not a way to reject or get rid of the original scientific theory, but simp...


... middle of paper ...


....
The best argument in favor of anti-realism is the under-determination of theory by the data. This theory states that the empirical evidence available at any given time will always “undermine, or will not be able to completely discriminate between, alternative theories.” The best way to conceptualize this theory is to imagine plotting points on a standard axis and then draw a curve to fit those points. If you think of the points as data and the curve as the theory that explains those data, it will soon become obvious that there are infinite ways to connect those points or that “the points under-determine the curve”. But as you find more and more data points, many of those other curve possibilities will be proven false. The main point of this argument is that scientists are after what works, not what is true thus arguing against one of the main tenets of realism.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Arguments Concerning Scientific Realism

- “Arguments Concerning Scientific Realism” is Bas van Fraassen’s attack on the positive construction of science. He starts by defining scientific realism as the goal of science to provide a “literally true story of what the world is like;” and the “acceptance of a scientific theory” necessitates the “belief that it is true”. This definition contains two important attributes. The first attribute describes scientific realism as practical. The aim of science is to reach an exact truth of the world. The second attribute is that scientific realism is epistemic....   [tags: Van Fraassen, technology]

Better Essays
1080 words (3.1 pages)

Comparing and Contrasting Scientific realism and Phenomenology Essay

- The objective of science is elucidate some sort of “truth” with regard to the world and how it works. But how do we arrive at this concept of “truth”. Epistomology, or the study of the origin, nature and limits to the production of human knowledge, provides a multitude of frameworks from which to work from. These approaches address the creation of knowledge and provide the scientist or observer with a reference from which to test the limits and validity of the knowledge that are created from research....   [tags: knowledge, epistomology, philosophy]

Better Essays
953 words (2.7 pages)

Conservatism and Innovation: A New Perspective on the Scientific Realism Debate

- In this thesis I propose a new philosophical framework for the philosophy of physics as an alternative to the existing scientific realism and antirealism debate. Such reconsideration of the debate is warranted by the widely shared perception of a disconnect between the philosophy and the practices it purports to describe. Specifically, I offer a shift in focus from analysis of the justificatory practices of physicists to an examination of the methodologies evident in the presentation of theories....   [tags: Physics]

Better Essays
898 words (2.6 pages)

The Scientific Theory Of Scientific Theories Essay

- Are any scientific theories true. If so why. If not why do we rely on them. A scientific theory is an explanation that is well- substantiated explanation in regards to some aspect of the natural world that is attained through scientific method and is tested numerous times and usually confirmed through vigorous observation and experimentation. The term theory can be seen as a collection of laws which allow you to show some kind of phenomenon. The strength of a scientific theory associated with the diversity of phenomena can explain its elegance and simplicity....   [tags: Scientific method, Theory, Philosophy of science]

Better Essays
1950 words (5.6 pages)

Realism And Its Effects On Reality And Objectivity Essay

- However, realists value views from both parts and form sort of a midpoint. They state that there is a real world ‘out there’, (which suggests that they are foundationalists) and it is possible to formulate causal statements about the world. Yet, not every social phenomena, and the connections between them, are clearly apparent. There are profound structures and deep rules that cannot be observed and what could be observed might offer a false image of those structures or phenomena and their effects (Marsh & Furlong 2002)....   [tags: Scientific method, Sociology, Epistemology]

Better Essays
1006 words (2.9 pages)

Essay about Realism, Modality and Truth

- Realism, Modality and Truth ABSTRACT: Anti-realists about the past claim that no one has yet manifested a knowledge of the truth of tensed instances of the realist schema '‡ (s is true · there is no evidence for s),' instances such as '‡ ('Caesar crossed the Rubicon' is true · there is no evidence for 'Caesar crossed the Rubicon'). It is true that we cannot decide specific instances of the realist schema and that, consequently, neither our understanding of these instances, nor our knowledge of their truth may be constituted by the recognitional and executive capacities which, according to Michael Dummett's antirealism, constitute grasp of meaning....   [tags: Anti-Realism Realism Logic Essays]

Better Essays
5546 words (15.8 pages)

The Philosophy of Science Essay

- The study of the philosophy of science explores whether scientific results are actually the study of truth. Scientific realism is an area of study in the philosophy of science and has a contrasting view called anti realism. The debate between the two revolves around their disagreement between the existence of an external world. A scientific realist believes that an external world exists independent of our minds whereas the anti realist, or the idealists, believes that no such world exists outside of ourselves....   [tags: Realism]

Better Essays
2527 words (7.2 pages)

Essay on The Advent of Realism

- In the late 19th Century, Realism became popular, by challenging many of the ideals and spiritual themes of Romantic painting. The late 19th Century was also a period of intense political instability in Europe and an epoch of major economic and social development in England. The movement grew in prominence, predominantly because of its opposition to the classical model of staid hypothetical modes of representation taught in the academies (Clark 2002, 134). The ideals of Romanticism had failed to appeal to the new breed of visionaries, who wanted more than intangibles, whether in art or literature....   [tags: Concept, Painting, Literature]

Better Essays
1049 words (3 pages)

Magical Realism and Quantum Physics Essay

- Magical Realism and Quantum Physics The term Magical Realism is said to have started with the German art critic Franz Roh, who used the trem to describe the return of art to Realism from Expressionism. The term Magical Realism has also been used to categorize some the novels and short stories of authors such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Gunter Grass, and John Fowls. These writers use techniques that combine the real and unreal in ways that make them believable and acceptable by both the reader and characters in the stories....   [tags: Magical Realism Literature]

Free Essays
437 words (1.2 pages)

Entity Realism Essay examples

- Entity Realism The truth about scientific unobservables has been argued about from two distinct sides, realists and anti-realists. I will argue that entity realism is the best way to show that entities exist. The scientific anti-realist believes that there is a difference between unobservable and observable entities. They believe that because there is no concrete evidence of unobservable entities and events, theories should not be taken to be true. This does not mean that anti-realists do not take all scientific theories to be false, but that they should only be considered empirically adequate....   [tags: Papers]

Better Essays
2092 words (6 pages)