Against Selective Realism(s)

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Tulodziecki, Dana
conference paper description
It has recently been suggested (for example, Lyons 2006) that realist responses to historical cases featured in pessimistic meta-inductions are not as successful as previously thought. In response, selective realists have updated the basic divide et impera strategy specifically to take such cases into account, and to argue, on this basis, that more modern realist accounts are immune to the historical challenge (cf. Vickers 2013). Using a case-study – that of the 19th century zymotic theory of disease – I argue that these updated proposals fail, and that even the most sophisticated recent realist accounts are just as vulnerable as their predecessors.