•  2267
    Scientific realism is the position that the aim of science is to advance on truth and increase knowledge about observable and unobservable aspects of the mind-independent world which we inhabit. This book articulates and defends that position. In presenting a clear formulation and addressing the major arguments for scientific realism Sankey appeals to philosophers beyond the community of, typically Anglo-American, analytic philosophers of science to appreciate and understand the doctrine. The bo…Read more
  •  1679
    Qu'est-ce que le realisme scientifique?
    Reseaux 94 69-82. 2002.
    Les tables, les chaises, les gens assis sur des chaises, à des tables sont des objets composés de matière. Selon la science, la matière se compose principalement d'atomes. Les atomes sont faits d'électrons, de neutrons et de protons. Les neutrons et les protons forment un noyau autour duquel orbitent les électrons. Outre ces particules, les physiciens en ont découvert un grand nombre d'autres, comme les photons, les quarks et les neutrinos.
  •  695
    Kuhn's ontological relativism
    Science & Education 9 (1-2): 59-75. 2000.
    In this paper, I provide an interpretation of ontological aspects of Kuhn's theory of science.
  •  662
    Does science provide knowledge of reality? In this paper, I offer a positive response to this question. I reject the anti-realist claim that we are unable to acquire knowledge of reality in favour of the realist view that science yields knowledge of the external world. But what world is that? Some argue that science leads to the overthrow of our commonsense view of the world. Common sense is “stone-age metaphysics” to be rejected as the false theory of our primitive ancestors. Against such elimi…Read more
  •  637
    Reference, Success and Entity Realism
    Kairos. Revista de Filosofia and Ciência 5 31-42. 2012.
    The paper discusses the version of entity realism presented by Ian Hacking in his book, Representing and Intervening. Hacking holds that an ontological form of scientific realism, entity realism, may be defended on the basis of experimental practices which involve the manipulation of unobservable entities. There is much to be said in favour of the entity realist position that Hacking defends, especially the pragmatist orientation of his approach to realism. But there are problems with the pos…Read more
  •  593
    The Incommensurability Thesis
    Taylor and Francis. 1994.
    My 1994 book, The Incommensurability Thesis, has recently been re-issued in the Routledge Revivals series.
  •  543
    Incommensurability: The current state of play
    Theoria 12 (3): 425-445. 1997.
    The incommensurability thesis is the thesis that the content of some alternative scientific theories is incomparable due to translation failure between the vocabulary the theories employ. This paper presents an overview of the main issues which have arisen in the debate about incommensurability. It also briefly outlines a response to the thesis based on a modified causal theory of reference which allows change of reference subsequent to initial baptism, as well as a role to description in the de…Read more
  •  512
    This book concentrates on three topics: the problem of the semantic incommensurability of theories; the non-algorithmic character of rational scientific theory choice and naturalised accounts of the rationality of methodological change. The underlying aim is to show how the phenomenon of extensive conceptual and methodological variation in science need not give rise to a thorough-going epistemic or conceptual relativism.
  •  386
    There are two chief tasks which confront the philosophy of scientific method. The first task is to specify the methodology which serves as the objective ground for scientific theory appraisal and acceptance. The second task is to explain how application of this methodology leads to advance toward the aim(s) of science. In other words, the goal of the theory of method is to provide an integrated explanation of both rational scientific theory choice and scientific progress.
  •  371
    Kuhn's changing concept of incommensurability
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (4): 759-774. 1993.
    Since 1962 Kuhn's concept of incommensurability has undergone a process of transformation. His current account of incommensurability has little in common with his original account of it. Originally, incommensurability was a relation of methodological, observational and conceptual disparity between paradigms. Later Kuhn restricted the notion to the semantical sphere and assimilated it to the indeterminacy of translation. Recently he has developed an account of it as localized translation failure …Read more
  •  368
    Subject and Object in Scientific Realism
    In Paula Angelova, Jassen Andreev & Emil Lensky (eds.), Das Interpretative Universum, Konigshausen & Neumann. pp. 293-306. 2017.
    In this paper, I explore the relationship between the subject and the object from the perspective of scientific realism.
  •  363
    Underdetermination in Economics: The Duhem-Quine Thesis
    with K. R. Sawyer and Clive Beed
    Economics and Philosophy 13 (1): 1-23. 1997.
    This paper considers the relevance of the Duhem-Quine thesis in economics. In the introductory discussion which follows, the meaning of the thesis and a brief history of its development are detailed. The purpose of the paper is to discuss the effects of the thesis in four specific and diverse theories in economics, and to illustrate the dependence of testing the theories on a set of auxiliary hypotheses. A general taxonomy of auxiliary hypotheses is provided to demonstrate the confounding of aux…Read more
  •  357
    Scientific Realism and Basic Common Sense
    Kairos. Revista de Filosofia and Ciência 10 11-24. 2014.
    This paper considers the relationship between science and common sense. It takes as its point of departure, Eddington’s distinction between the table of physics and the table of common sense, as well as Eddington’s suggestion that science shows common sense to be false. Against the suggestion that science shows common sense to be false, it is argued that there is a form of common sense, basic common sense, which is not typically overthrown by scientific research. Such basic common sense is st…Read more
  •  357
    Ciencia, realidad y racionalidad
    University of Cauca Press. 2015.
    This is a collection of my essays in the philosophy of science which have been translated into Spanish.
  •  357
    Ciencia, Sentido Comun Y Realidad
    Discusiones Filosóficas 11 (16): 41-58. 2010.
    ¿La ciencia otorga conocimiento de la realidad? En este artículo ofrezco una respuesta positiva a esta pregunta. Rechazo la pretensión anti-realista según la cual somos incapaces de adquirir conocimiento de la realidad; al contrario, apoyo la visión realista que afirma que la ciencia produce conocimiento del mundo externo. Pero: ¿cuál mundo es ese? Algunos sostienen que la ciencia conduce a la superación de nuestra visión del mundo dada por el sentido común. El sentido común es la “metafísica de…Read more
  •  331
    Est-il rationnel de chercher la vérité?
    Revue Philosophique De Louvain 98 (3): 589-602. 2000.
    This paper addresses the question of whether it is rational for scientists to pursue the realist aim of truth. The point of departure is a pair of objections to the aim of truth due to the anti-realist author, Larry Laudan: first, it is not rational to pursue an aim such as truth which we cannot know we have reached; second, truth is not a legitimate aim for science because it cannot be shown to be attained. Against Laudan, it is argued not only that it is possible to achieve theoretical knowled…Read more
  •  325
    Scientific method
    In Stathis Psillos & Martin Curd (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Science, Routledge. pp. 248-258. 2008.
    This is an introductory overview of theories of scientific method.
  •  314
    Scientific realism: An elaboration and a defence
    Theoria A Journal of Social and Political Theory 98 (98): 35-54. 2001.
    This paper describes the position of scientific realism and presents the basic lines of argument for the position. Simply put, scientific realism is the view that the aim of science is knowledge of the truth about observable and unobservable aspects of a mind-independent, objective reality. Scientific realism is supported by several distinct lines of argument. It derives from a non-anthropocentric conception of our place in the natural world, and it is grounded in the epistemology and metaphysic…Read more
  •  309
    El realismo cientifico y el punto de vista del Ojo de Dios
    Revista Disertaciones 2 59-74. 2011.
    Según el realismo científico, el propósito de la ciencia es descubrir la verdad acerca de los aspectos observables e inobservables de la realidad objetiva e independiente de la mente, en la cual habitamos. Putnam y otros han objetado que tal posición realista metafísica presupone un punto de vista del Ojo de Dios, del cual no puede establecerse ningún sentido coherente. En este artículo defenderé dos posiciones: primera, que el realismo científico no requiere la adopción de un punto de vista del…Read more
  •  296
    Epistemic relativism and the problem of the criterion
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (4): 562-570. 2011.
    This paper explores the relationship between scepticism and epistemic relativism in the context of recent history and philosophy of science. More specifically, it seeks to show that significant treatments of epistemic relativism by influential figures in the history and philosophy of science draw upon the Pyrrhonian problem of the criterion. The paper begins with a presentation of the problem of the criterion as it occurs in the work of Sextus Empiricus. It is then shown that significant treatme…Read more
  •  288
    The problem of rational theory-choice
    Epistemologia 18 (2): 299-312. 1995.
    The problem of rational theory-choice is the problem of whether choice of theory by a scientist may be objectively rational in the absence of an invariant scientific method. In this paper I offer a solution to the problem, but the solution I propose may come as something of a surprise. For I wish to argue that the work of the very authors who have put the rationality of such choice in question, Thomas Kuhn and Paul Feyerabend, contains all that is needed to solve the problem.
  •  283
    This is a survey of theories of scientific method which opens the book "After Popper, Kuhn and Feyerabend: Recent Issues in Theories of Scientific Method".
  •  274
    Kuhn, Relativism and Realism
    In Juha Saatsi (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Scientific Realism, Routledge. pp. 72-83. 2018.
    The aim of this chapter is to explore the relationship between Kuhn’s views about science and scientific realism. I present an overview of key features of Kuhn’s model of scientific change. The model suggests a relativistic approach to the methods of science. I bring out a conflict between this relativistic approach and a realist approach to the norms of method. I next consider the question of progress and truth. Kuhn’s model is a problem-solving model that proceeds by way of puzzles and an…Read more
  •  272
    Realism and the Epistemic Objectivity of Science
    Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 35 (1): 5-20. 2021.
    The paper presents a realist account of the epistemic objectivity of science. Epistemic objectivity is distinguished from ontological objectivity and the objectivity of truth. As background, T.S. Kuhn’s idea that scientific theory-choice is based on shared scientific values with a role for both objective and subjective factors is discussed. Kuhn’s values are epistemologically ungrounded, hence provide a minimal sense of objectivity. A robust account of epistemic objectivity on which methodol…Read more
  •  267
    Scientific Realism and the Conflict with Common Sense
    In Wenceslao J. Gonzalez (ed.), New Approaches to Scientific Realism, De Gruyter. pp. 68-83. 2020.
    In this paper, I explore the purported conflict between science and common sense within the context of scientific realism. I argue for a version of scientific realism which retains commitment to realism about common sense rather than seeking to eliminate it.
  •  265
    Incommensurability and Theory Change
    In Steven Hales (ed.), A Companion to Relativism, Wiley-blackwell. pp. 456-474. 2011.
    The paper explores the relativistic implications of the thesis of incommensurability. A semantic form of incommensurability due to semantic variation between theories is distinguished from a methodological form due to variation in methodological standards between theories. Two responses to the thesis of semantic incommensurability are dealt with: the first challenges the idea of untranslatability to which semantic incommensurability gives rise; the second holds that relations of referential c…Read more
  •  263
    Bojana Mladenovic: Kuhn's Legacy: Epistemology, Metaphilosophy, and Pragmatism (review)
    Philosophical Review 127 (4): 532-535. 2018.
    This is a book review of Bojana Mladenovic, Kuhn's Legacy: Epistemology, Metaphilosophy, and Pragmatism
  •  248
    Taxonomic incommensurability
    International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 12 (1). 1998.
    In a shift of position that has gone largely unnoticed by the great majority of commentators, Thomas Kuhn's version of the incommensurability thesis underwent a major transformation over the last decade and a half of his life. In his later work, Kuhn argued that incommensurability is a relation of translation failure between local subsets of interdefined theoretical terms, which encapsulate the taxonomic structure of a theory. Incommensurability arises because it is impossible to transfer the na…Read more
  •  246
    Induction and Natural Kinds Revisited
    In Benjamin Hill, Henrik Lagerlund & Stathis Psillos (eds.), Reconsidering Causal Powers: Historical and Conceptual Perspectives, Oxford University Press. pp. 284-299. 2021.
    In ‘Induction and Natural Kinds’, I proposed a solution to the problem of induction according to which our use of inductive inference is reliable because it is grounded in the natural kind structure of the world. When we infer that unobserved members of a kind will have the same properties as observed members of the kind, we are right because all members of the kind possess the same essential properties. The claim that the existence of natural kinds is what grounds reliable use of induction is…Read more