Tuesday, 1 February 2011
In Defence of Structural Realism; or: the “Newman Objection”, what objection?
London School of Economics, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
12:05 pm, 817R Cathedral of Learning
Abstract: Following Poincaré, I have defended Structural Realism (SR) in a number of earlier papers. SR has however been subjected to several criticisms. Of these the “Newman Objection” is generally regarded as the most fundamental. Indeed many people regard it as blowing SR entirely out of the water. I argue that, when properly understood, this is in fact no objection at all, but rather one way of emphasizing exactly what SR says! In the process I defend the view (to which SR, as I construe it, is committed) that the full cognitive content of any theory is captured by its Ramsey sentence and reject the claim that this involves surrender to instrumentalist empiricism.