A Dilemma for the Scientific Realist

Howard Sankey

Abstract


This note poses a dilemma for scientific realism which stems from the apparent conflict between science and common sense. On the one hand, we may accept scientific realism and agree that there is a conflict between science and common sense. If we do this, we remove the evidential basis for science and have no reason to accept science in the first place. On the other hand, we may accept scientific realism and endorse common sense. If we do this, we must reject the conflict between science and common sense. The dilemma is to be resolved by distinguishing between basic common sense and widely held beliefs. Basic common sense survives the advance of science and may serve as the evidential basis for science.

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References


Arthur Eddington, The Nature of the Physical World (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1933)

Howard Sankey, ‘Scientific Realism and Basic Common Sense’, Kairos 10 (2014), 11-23




DOI: https://doi.org/10.4245/sponge.v9i1.26352

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