Three paradigms of scientific realism : a truthmaking account

Jamin ASAY

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This paper investigates the nature of scientific realism. I begin by considering the anomalous fact that Bas van Fraassen's account of scientific realism is strikingly similar to Arthur Fine's account of scientific non-realism. To resolve this puzzle, I demonstrate how the two theorists understand the nature of truth and its connection to ontology, and how that informs their conception of the realism debate. I then argue that the debate is much better captured by the theory of truthmaking, and not by any particular theory of truth. To be a scientific realist is to adopt a realism-relevant account of what makes true the scientific theories one accepts. The truthmaking approach restores realism's metaphysical core-distancing itself from linguistic conceptions of the debate-and thereby offers a better characterization of what is at stake in the question of scientific realism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Studies in the Philosophy of Science
Issue number1
Early online date2 Oct 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Bibliographical note

A version of this paper was presented at the University of Sydney.


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