Seungbae Park

Ulsan National Institute Of Science And Technology
  •  5139
    Defence of Cultural Relativism
    Cultura 8 (1): 159-170. 2011.
    I attempt to rebut the following standard objections against cultural relativism: 1. It is self-defeating for a cultural relativist to take the principle of tolerance as absolute; 2. There are universal moral rules, contrary to what cultural relativism claims; 3. If cultural relativism were true, Hitler’s genocidal actions would be right, social reformers would be wrong to go against their own culture, moral progress would be impossible, and an atrocious crime could be made moral by forming a cu…Read more
  •  1115
    Philosophical responses to underdetermination in science
    Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 40 (1). 2009.
    What attitude should we take toward a scientific theory when it competes with other scientific theories? This question elicited different answers from instrumentalists, logical positivists, constructive empiricists, scientific realists, holists, theory-ladenists, antidivisionists, falsificationists, and anarchists in the philosophy of science literature. I will summarize the diverse philosophical responses to the problem of underdetermination, and argue that there are different kinds of underdet…Read more
  •  922
    Should Scientists Embrace Scientific Realism or Antirealism?
    Philosophical Forum 50 (1): 147-158. 2019.
    If scientists embrace scientific realism, they can use a scientific theory to explain and predict observables and unobservables. If, however, they embrace scientific antirealism, they cannot use a scientific theory to explain observables and unobservables, and cannot use a scientific theory to predict unobservables. Given that explanation and prediction are means to make scientific progress, scientists can make more scientific progress, if they embrace scientific realism than if they embrace sci…Read more
  •  916
    Moral Vegetarianism vs. Moral Omnivorism
    Human Affairs 27 (3): 289-300. 2017.
    It is supererogatory to refrain from eating meat, just as it is supererogatory to refrain from driving cars, living in apartments, and wearing makeup, for the welfare of animals. If all animals are equal, and if nonhuman omnivores, such as bears and baboons, are justified in killing the members of other species, such as gazelles and buffaloes, for food, humans are also justified in killing the members of other species, such as cows, pigs, and chickens, for food. In addition, it is fair for human…Read more
  •  884
    A Confutation of the Pessimistic Induction
    Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 42 (1): 75-84. 2011.
    The pessimistic induction holds that successful past scientific theories are completely false, so successful current ones are completely false too. I object that past science did not perform as poorly as the pessimistic induction depicts. A close study of the history of science entitles us to construct an optimistic induction that would neutralize the pessimistic induction. Also, even if past theories were completely false, it does not even inductively follow that the current theories will also …Read more
  •  669
    The Uniformity Principle vs. the Disuniformity Principle
    Acta Analytica 32 (2): 213-222. 2017.
    The pessimistic induction is built upon the uniformity principle that the future resembles the past. In daily scientific activities, however, scientists sometimes rely on what I call the disuniformity principle that the future differs from the past. They do not give up their research projects despite the repeated failures. They believe that they will succeed although they failed repeatedly, and as a result they achieve what they intended to achieve. Given that the disuniformity principle is usef…Read more
  •  580
    Against Moral Truths
    Cultura 9 (1): 179-194. 2012.
    I criticize the following three arguments for moral objectivism. 1. Since we assess moral statements, we can arrive at some moral truths (Thomson, 2006). 2. One culture can be closer to truths than another in moral matters because the former can be closer to truths than the latter in scientific matters (Pojman, 2008). 3. A moral judgment is shown to be true when it is backed up by reason (Rachels and Rachels, 2010). Finally, I construct a dilemma against the view that there are moral truths and …Read more
  •  576
    Approximate Truth vs. Empirical Adequacy
    Epistemologia 37 (1): 106-118. 2014.
    Suppose that scientific realists believe that a successful theory is approximately true, and that constructive empiricists believe that it is empirically adequate. Whose belief is more likely to be false? The problem of underdetermination does not yield an answer to this question one way or the other, but the pessimistic induction does. The pessimistic induction, if correct, indicates that successful theories, both past and current, are empirically inadequate. It is arguable, however, that they …Read more
  •  576
    Optimistic Realism over Selectivism
    Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 33 (1): 89-106. 2019.
    Selectivism holds that some theoretical contents of most present theories will be preserved in future theories. By contrast, optimistic realism holds that most theoretical contents of most present theories will be preserved in future theories. I construct a pessimistic induction over selectivists to undermine selectivism, and an optimistic induction over optimistic realists to support optimistic realism. The former holds that since the selectivists of the early twentieth century were overly caut…Read more
  •  556
    On the Evolutionary Defense of Scientific Antirealism
    Axiomathes 24 (2): 263-273. 2014.
    Van Fraassen (1980) claims that successful theories exist today because successful theories survive and unsuccessful ones die. Wray (2007, 2010) appeals to Stanford’s new pessimistic induction (2006), arguing that van Fraassen’s selectionist explanation is better than the realist explanation that successful theories exist because they are approximately true. I argue that if the pessimistic induction is correct, then the evolutionary explanation is neither true nor empirically adequate, and that …Read more
  •  551
    Realism Versus Surrealism
    Foundations of Science 21 (4): 603-614. 2016.
    Realism and surrealism claim, respectively, that a scientific theory is successful because it is true, and because the world operates as if it is true. Lyons :891–901, 2003) criticizes realism and argues that surrealism is superior to realism. I reply that Lyons’s criticisms against realism fail. I also attempt to establish the following two claims: Realism and surrealism lead to a useful prescription and a useless prescription, respectively, on how to make an unsuccessful theory successful. Rea…Read more
  •  521
    Scientific Realism Versus Antirealism in Science Education
    Santalka: Filosofija, Komunikacija 24 (1): 72-81. 2016.
    Scientific realists believe both what a scientific theory says about observables and unobservables. In contrast, scientific antirealists believe what a scientific theory says about observables, but not about unobservables. I argue that scientific realism is a more useful doctrine than scientific antirealism in science classrooms. If science teachers are antirealists, they are caught in Moore’s paradox when they help their students grasp the content of a scientific theory, and when they explain a…Read more
  •  521
    Coherence of Our Best Scientific Theories
    Foundations of Science 16 (1): 21-30. 2011.
    Putnam (1975) infers from the success of a scientific theory to its approximate truth and the reference of its key term. Laudan (1981) objects that some past theories were successful, and yet their key terms did not refer, so they were not even approximately true. Kitcher (1993) replies that the past theories are approximately true because their working posits are true, although their idle posits are false. In contrast, I argue that successful theories which cohere with each other are approximat…Read more
  •  521
    Why Should We Be Pessimistic about Antirealists and Pessimists?
    Foundations of Science 22 (3): 613-625. 2017.
    The pessimistic induction over scientific theories holds that present theories will be overthrown as were past theories. The pessimistic induction over scientists holds that present scientists cannot conceive of future theories just as past scientists could not conceive of present theories. The pessimistic induction over realists :4321–4330, 2013) holds that present realists are wrong about present theories just as past realists were wrong about past theories. The pessimistic induction over anti…Read more
  •  504
    Problems with Using Evolutionary Theory in Philosophy
    Axiomathes 27 (3): 321-332. 2017.
    Does science move toward truths? Are present scientific theories (approximately) true? Should we invoke truths to explain the success of science? Do our cognitive faculties track truths? Some philosophers say yes, while others say no, to these questions. Interestingly, both groups use the same scientific theory, viz., evolutionary theory, to defend their positions. I argue that it begs the question for the former group to do so because their positive answers imply that evolutionary theory is war…Read more
  •  442
    Does Scientific Progress Consist in Increasing Knowledge or Understanding?
    Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 48 (4): 569-579. 2017.
    Bird argues that scientific progress consists in increasing knowledge. Dellsén objects that increasing knowledge is neither necessary nor sufficient for scientific progress, and argues that scientific progress rather consists in increasing understanding. Dellsén also contends that unlike Bird’s view, his view can account for the scientific practices of using idealizations and of choosing simple theories over complex ones. I argue that Dellsén’s criticisms against Bird’s view fail, and that incre…Read more
  •  430
    Extensional Scientific Realism vs. Intensional Scientific Realism
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 59 46-52. 2016.
    Extensional scientific realism is the view that each believable scientific theory is supported by the unique first-order evidence for it and that if we want to believe that it is true, we should rely on its unique first-order evidence. In contrast, intensional scientific realism is the view that all believable scientific theories have a common feature and that we should rely on it to determine whether a theory is believable or not. Fitzpatrick argues that extensional realism is immune, while int…Read more
  •  412
    On the Relationship between Speech Acts and Psychological States
    Pragmatics and Cognition 22 (3): 430-351. 2014.
    This paper defends a theory of speech act that I call concurrentism. It consists of the following three theses. 1. We believe, ceteris paribus, that other people’s speech acts concur with their beliefs. 2. Our speech acts, ceteris paribus, concur with our beliefs. 3. When our speech acts deviate from our beliefs, we do not, ceteris paribus, declare the deviations to other people. Concurrentism sheds light on what the hearer believes when he hears an indicative sentence, what the speaker believes…Read more
  •  404
    To Be Scientific Is To Be Interactive
    European Journal of Science and Theology 12 (1): 77-86. 2016.
    Hempel, Popper, and Kuhn argue that to be scientific is to be testable, to be falsifiable, and most nearly to do normal science, respectively. I argue that to be scientific is largely to be interactive, offering some examples from science to show that the ideas from different fields of science interact with one another. The results of the interactions are that hypotheses become more plausible, new phenomena are explained and predicted, we understand phenomena from a new perspective, and our worl…Read more
  •  390
    Cultural Relativism and the Theory of Relativity
    Filosofija. Sociologija 25 (1): 44-51. 2014.
    Cornea (2012) argues that I (2011) was wrong to use the analogy between morality and motion to defend cultural relativism. I reply that the analogy can be used to clarify what cultural relativism asserts and how a cultural relativist can reply to the criticisms against it. Ockham’s Razor favours the relativist view that there are no moral truths, and hence no culture is better than another. Contrary to what Cornea claims, cultural relativism does not entail that we cannot protect ourselves from …Read more
  •  386
    Two Criticisms against Mathematical Realism
    Diametros 52 96-106. 2017.
    Mathematical realism asserts that mathematical objects exist in the abstract world, and that a mathematical sentence is true or false, depending on whether the abstract world is as the mathematical sentence says it is. I raise two objections against mathematical realism. First, the abstract world is queer in that it allows for contradictory states of affairs. Second, mathematical realism does not have a theoretical resource to explain why a sentence about a tricle is true or false. A tricle is a…Read more
  •  384
    The Anti-Induction for Scientific Realism
    Grazer Philosophische Studien 95 (3): 329-342. 2018.
    In contemporary philosophy of science, the no-miracles argument and the pessimistic induction are regarded as the strongest arguments for and against scientific realism, respectively. In this paper, I construct a new argument for scientific realism which I call the anti-induction for scientific realism. It holds that, since past theories were false, present theories are true. I provide an example from the history of science to show that anti-inductions sometimes work in science. The anti-inducti…Read more
  •  362
    Refutations of the Two Pessimistic Inductions
    Philosophia 44 (3): 835-844. 2016.
    Both the pessimistic inductions over scientific theories and over scientists are built upon what I call proportional pessimism: as theories are discarded, the inductive rationale for concluding that the next theories will be discarded grows stronger. I argue that proportional pessimism clashes with the fact that present theories are more successful than past theories, and with the implications of the assumptions that there are finitely and infinitely many unconceived alternatives. Therefore, the…Read more
  •  347
    Ontological Order in Scientific Explanation
    Philosophical Papers 32 (2): 157-170. 2003.
    A scientific theory is successful, according to Stanford (2000), because it is suficiently observationally similar to its corresponding true theory. The Ptolemaic theory, for example, is successful because it is sufficiently similar to the Copernican theory at the observational level. The suggestion meets the scientific realists' request to explain the success of science without committing to the (approximate) truth of successful scientific theories. I argue that Stanford's proposal has a concep…Read more
  •  347
    The Descriptive and Normative Versions of Scientific Realism and Pessimism
    Filozofia: Journal for Philosophy 74 (4). 2019.
    Descriptive realism holds that T is true, while normative realism holds that T is warranted. Descriptive pessimism holds that T is false, while normative pessimism holds that T is unwarranted. We should distinguish between descriptive and normative realism because some arguments against scientific realism require that scientific realism be interpreted as descriptive realism, and because scientific realists can retreat from descriptive to normative realism when descriptive realism is under attack…Read more
  •  336
    In Defense of the Epistemic Imperative
    Axiomathes 28 (4): 435-446. 2018.
    Sample (2015) argues that scientists ought not to believe that their theories are true because they cannot fulfill the epistemic obligation to take the diachronic perspective on their theories. I reply that Sample’s argument imposes an inordinately heavy epistemic obligation on scientists, and that it spells doom not only for scientific theories but also for observational beliefs and philosophical ideas that Samples endorses. I also delineate what I take to be a reasonable epistemic obligation f…Read more
  •  332
    Against Mathematical Convenientism
    Axiomathes 26 (2): 115-122. 2016.
    Indispensablists argue that when our belief system conflicts with our experiences, we can negate a mathematical belief but we do not because if we do, we would have to make an excessive revision of our belief system. Thus, we retain a mathematical belief not because we have good evidence for it but because it is convenient to do so. I call this view ‘ mathematical convenientism.’ I argue that mathematical convenientism commits the consequential fallacy and that it demolishes the Quine-Putnam ind…Read more
  •  328
    Against Motivational Efficacy of Beliefs
    Santalka: Filosofija, Komunikacija 23 (1): 86-95. 2015.
    Bromwich (2010) argues that a belief is motivationally efficacious in that, other things being equal, it disposes an agent to answer a question in accordance with that belief. I reply that what we are disposed to do is largely determined by our genes, whereas what we believe is largely determined by stimuli from the environment. We have a standing and default disposition to answer questions honestly, ceteris paribus, even before we are exposed to environmental stimuli. Since this standing and de…Read more
  •  323
    Against Extrinsic Dispositions
    Review of Contemporary Philosophy 16 92-103. 2017.
    McKitrick (2003) proposes that an object has a disposition if and only if there are a manifestation, the circumstances of the manifestation, a counterfactual true of the object, and an overtly dispositional locution referring to the disposition. A disposition is extrinsic if and only if an object has it, but a perfect duplicate of the object might not have it. I present an alternative definition that an object has a disposition if and only if a counterfactual is true of the object that under a c…Read more
  •  317
    Can Mathematical Objects Be Causally Efficacious?
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62 (3). 2019.
    Callard (2007) argues that it is metaphysically possible that a mathematical object, although abstract, causally affects the brain. I raise the following objections. First, a successful defence of mathematical realism requires not merely the metaphysical possibility but rather the actuality that a mathematical object affects the brain. Second, mathematical realists need to confront a set of three pertinent issues: why a mathematical object does not affect other concrete objects and other mathema…Read more