By ANJAN CHAKRAVARTTY
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Extra info for AMETAPHYSICS FOR SCIENTIFIC REALISM
Many realists, however, Metaphysics, empiricism, and scientiﬁc knowledge 13 are uncomfortable with epistemic theories of truth, and adopt instead some version of the correspondence theory, according to which truth is some sort of correspondence between things like theories and the world. But it is doubtful whether one must adopt a correspondence theory to be a realist. There are difﬁculties associated with explaining what correspondence means, and many prefer to do without. In any case, it does seem that in order to qualify as a realist, one must believe that good theories are reasonably successful in describing the nature of a mind-independent world, but whether this is understood in terms of correspondence truth or in some other way (for example, in terms of a theory of reference or representation) is an open question.
Numerous theories about the nature of the electron, for example, have come and gone since J. J. Thomson speculated that the ‘cathode rays’ he was experimenting on in 1897 might be composed of a stream of ‘corpuscles’, but the entity itself still has a place in current theory. There is a prima facie case, it seems, that ER may be a refuge for the realist in the face of historical discontinuity. Two serious objections, however, put this in doubt. The ﬁrst concerns the precise location of the line ER draws between that which realists are advised to endorse, and that about which they are advised to remain sceptical.
The core of the metaphysical stance comprises the following epistemic policies: M1 Accept demands for explanation in terms of things underlying the observable. M2 Attempt to answer such demands by speculating about the unobservable. Why should anyone disapprove of these policies? Empiricists hold that via M1, metaphysicians seek to explain things one already understands! Via M2, metaphysicians generate explanantia that are less comprehensible than the explananda with which they begin! These are, it turns out, The rise of stance empiricism 19 familiar responses of empiricist philosophers to metaphysics throughout the ages.
AMETAPHYSICS FOR SCIENTIFIC REALISM by ANJAN CHAKRAVARTTY