, Volume 78, Issue 1, pp 39-58

First online:

Realism in the Desert and in the Jungle: Reply to French, Ghins, and Psillos

  • Anjan ChakravarttyAffiliated withDepartment of Philosophy, University of Notre Dame Email author 

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A Metaphysics for Scientific Realism: Knowing the Unobservable has two primary aims. The first is to extract the most promising refinements of the idea of scientific realism to emerge in recent decades and assemble them into a maximally defensible realist position, semirealism. The second is to demonstrate that, contra antirealist scepticism to the contrary, key concepts typically invoked by realists in expounding their views can be given a coherent and unified explication. These concepts include notions of causation, laws of nature, scientific kinds, and approximate truth, and consequently, the demonstration undertaken includes a metaphysical study of ideas more commonly employed unreflectively in epistemological assessments of the sciences. In this paper, I answer searching critiques of this project by Steven French, Michel Ghins, and Stathis Psillos.