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Durham University

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Publication details

Vickers, P. (2019). Towards a realistic success-to-truth inference for scientific realism. Synthese 196(2): 571-585.

Author(s) from Durham


A success-to-truth inference has always been at the heart of scientific realist positions. But all attempts to articulate the inference have met with very significant challenges. This paper reconstructs the evolution of this inference, and brings together a number of qualifications in an attempt to articulate a contemporary (‘local’) success-to-truth inference which is realistic. I argue that this contemporary version of the inference has a chance, at least, of overcoming the historical challenges which have been proffered to date (and without moving all the way to structural realism). However, there is a price to pay: the developments which help the realist answer the historical challenges also serve to increase the number of non-historical challenges.