Historical Inductions: New Cherries, Same Old Cherry-Picking

Publication Year:
Usage 305
Downloads 305
Social Media 3
Tweets 3
Repository URL:
Mizrahi, Moti
Most Recent Tweet View All Tweets
preprint description
In this paper, I argue that arguments from the history of science against scientific realism, like the arguments advanced by Kyle Stanford and Peter Vickers, are fallacious. The so-called “Old Induction,” like Vickers’, and the so-called “New Induction,” like Stanford’s, are both guilty of confirmation bias, specifically, of cherry-picking evidence that allegedly challenges scientific realism, while ignoring evidence to the contrary. I also show that the historical episodes Stanford adduces in support of his New Induction are indeterminate between a pessimistic interpretation and an optimistic interpretation. For these reasons, these arguments are fallacious, and thus do not pose a serious challenge to scientific realism.