CfA: Alternative Approaches to Scientific Realism (16 - 17 April 2020)
Idea & Motivation
There has been a recent move in philosophy of science towards views that in some sense reject the strict dichotomy between realism and anti-realism, or otherwise situate themselves between these two extremes. These include varieties of structuralism, perspectivalism, and pluralism/relativism, and have been applied across various scientific domains, including physics, mathematics, biology, cognitive science, and computer science. It seems plausible that each of these views might share some motivations and have in mind a similar target, i.e. the idea that there is an attitude we could hold towards our scientific theories that is somehow ‘less’ demanding than full-blown realism, and yet somehow ‘more’ rigorous than full-blown anti-realism. This conference will bring together representatives of each of these viewpoints, in order to compare the respective progress made by each approach, and to develop a shared foundation for the future development of alternatives to traditional scientific realism and anti-realism.