Choosing the Realist Framework

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Psillos, Stathis
conference paper description
There has been an empiricist tradition in the core of Logical Positivism/Empiricism, starting with Moritz Schlick and ending in Herbert Feigl (via Hans Reichenbach), according to which the world of empiricism need not be a barren place devoid of all the explanatory entities posited by scientific theories. The aim of this paper is to articulate this tradition and to explore ways in which its key elements can find a place in the contemporary debate over scientific realism. It presents a way empiricism can go for scientific realism without metaphysical anxiety, by developing an indispensability argument for the adoption of the realist framework. This argument, unlike current realist arguments, has a pragmatic ring to it: there is no ultimate argument for the adoption of the realist framework.