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Thread: The last and final argument about reality.

  1. #13861
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    493
    I haven't been reading this post for a while... until today. I found a good, simple summary of the ideas behind 'scientific realism' that some may be interested in.

    http://pitt.edu/~jdg83/teaching/pdfs...ntiRealism.pdf

    written by this chap:

    http://jdmitrigallow.com/
    "It's only a model....?" :-)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3dZl3yfGpc

  2. #13862
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    493
    also some excellent lecture notes on the scientific method:

    http://jdmitrigallow.com/teaching/pd...ctureNotes.pdf
    "It's only a model....?" :-)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3dZl3yfGpc

  3. #13863
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    27,229
    Quote Originally Posted by plant View Post
    I haven't been reading this post for a while... until today. I found a good, simple summary of the ideas behind 'scientific realism' that some may be interested in.

    http://pitt.edu/~jdg83/teaching/pdfs...ntiRealism.pdf

    written by this chap:

    http://jdmitrigallow.com/
    My critique of the arguments for "scientific realism" would center on the oxymoronic juxtaposition of those terms. By scientific realism, they seem to try to separate simple realism from how reailsm is used in science. The problem is, realism isn't used in science (it's not in the scientific method at all, which is obvious since antirealists do science in exactly the same way), instead it is a belief system attached to science by many scientists who have forgotten when they took off their science hat.

    This is clear if one simply contrasts the three elements of "scientific realism" from the first citation, with part I of the second citation (which is about what science actually is, devoid of realism). Indeed the only thing that connects part I and part II of that (otherwise excellent) treatise in the second citation is the belief that a mind independent reality exists and has something to do with science. That this is pure belief is evident immediately, from the very start of the exposition, when we see the statement " when you point and say “there’s a table”, you and I are talking about the very same thing; but we have two different experiences." So there it is, a statement of pure belief that when we talk about a table, we are talking about the "very same thing." There is never any argument, or scientific test, that we are talking about the very same thing, or even that "the very same thing" has any scientific meaning at all (where is the operational definition that I would need to apply science to the concept?), this is the starting point of the realism that is being discussed. So there is realism, and it is pure belief, and there is science, and it has nothing to do with belief, so "scientific realism" is an oxymoron. A common problem in logic is that if you start with an inconsistency, you can reason to any outcome, and simply not recognize that this was only possible because of the original contradiction.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2020-May-05 at 12:50 PM.

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