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Mauricio Suárez

Fictions, Inference and Realism


ISBN: 978-3-88405-513-7

Price: €11.00 (including 19 % tax)


Abstract

It is often assumed without argument that fictionalism in the philosophy of science contradicts scientific realism. This paper is a critical analysis of this assumption. The kind of fictionalism presently discussed in philosophy of science is characterised, and distinguished from fictionalism in other areas. A distinction is drawn between forms of fictional representation, and two competing accounts of fiction in science are discussed. I then outline explicitly what I take to be the argument for the incompatibility of scientific realism with fictionalism. I argue that some of its premises are unwarranted, and are moreover questionable from a fictionalist perspective. The conclusion is that fictionalism is neutral in the realism-antirealism debate, pulling neither in favour nor against scientific realism.

About the Author

Mauricio Suárez is currently Professor Titular (Associate Professor) in Logic and Philosophy of Science at Madrid’s Complutense University. He became interested in scientific fictions during his year as postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern University (1997-98). Later on he organised a pioneering international conference on the topic in Madrid in February 2006, and edited a corresponding volume (Fictions in Science, Routledge, 2009). He has published widely on the philosophy of quantum mechanics, modelling and representation, and scientific epistemology, in journals such as Erkenntnis, Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, Foundations of Physics, Philosophy of Science, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, History of the Human Sciences, Blackwell Compass. He edited Probabilities, Causes and Propensities in Physics (Springer, forthcoming), and co-edited the Proceedings of the founding conference of the European Philosophy of Science Association (EPSA), which he organised in Madrid in 2007.


 





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