Theo Todman's Web Page - Notes Pages
(Text as at 12/08/2007 10:17:46)
In saying that the world is open to investigation, I am not necessarily favouring scientific realism as against constructive empiricism, though I do incline towards the latter.
- By scientific realism I understand the proposition that the theories of science give true accounts of what the world contains, ie. that the entities (eg. electrons) postulated in scientific theories actually exist and are not simply mental constructs invented to explain the phenomena.
- By constructive empiricism I understand the view that science only aims to give us theories that are empirically adequate; that it deals with phenomena only, and not with any putative underlying unobservables.
- It will be noted later that I am mainly interested in models that explain the relationships between phenomena. Hence, I incline towards constructive empiricism. However, it may be that these models describe entities that are real, though unobservable. In any case, bounds are set on the sorts of entities that may explain the phenomena.
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