Arguments Against Scientific Realism

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It is difficult to describe the concept of scientific realism since there are many different views and variations of what it truly is. Through my research, I have found scientific realism to define as a belief that well-developed scientific theories are undoubtedly true, and that they work to explain the observable and unobservable aspects of the universe. There are many disagreements that center around whether scientific realism is plausible or not. I disagree with the idea of scientific realism because I do not believe science could explain every truth about humanity and the universe. Arguments for scientific realism focus around the idea that through tested theories and observations, science will continue to make progress in the world and …show more content…
Science can only go so far as to explain what humans don't know about the universe, and antirealists believe that we will never find all of the answers. Furthermore, many confusing concepts in the past that we thought we had answers for didn’t always turn out to be true. For example, ancient and medieval astronomers believed in the geocentric model of the universe, which stated the earth was in the center, and the sun, planets, and stars all revolved around it. It wasn't until the sixteenth century that Nicolaus Copernicus discovered the heliocentric model, which proves the earth and planets revolve around the sun. This dramatically changed the way people thought for centuries to come. Some started to doubt science after realizing that proven scientific theories that have been around for centuries could thus be proven wrong. This example disproves the notion of scientific realism that believes if a theory is approximately true, it must be true. From his research on the philosophy of science, Laudan states, “The notion of approximate truth is presently too vague to permit one to judge whether a theory consisting entirely of approximately true laws would be empirically successful.” (8:2). Moreover, just because the geocentric model was approximately true to the observer, didn’t mean it told the real truth about the order of the solar system. Another criticism against scientific realism is that science cannot be based off of observations alone. As previously mentioned, one of the notions of scientific realism is that it uses adductive reasoning and observations alone to come up with conclusions. This correlates with the example above whereas simply by observing the stars, astronomers came to the conclusion that the earth must be the center of the universe. Their observations were later found to be completely

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