Concept

Entity realism

Résumé
Entity realism (also selective realism), sometimes equated with referential realism, is a philosophical position within the debate about scientific realism. It is a variation of realism (independently proposed by Stanford School philosophers Nancy Cartwright and Ian Hacking in 1983) that restricts warranted belief to only certain entities. Overview Whereas traditional scientific realism argues that our best scientific theories are true, or approximately true, or closer to the truth than their predecessors, entity realism does not commit itself to judgments concerning the truth of scientific theories. Instead, entity realism claims that the theoretical entities that feature in scientific theories, e.g. 'electrons', should be regarded as real if and only if they refer to phenomena that can be routinely used to create effects in domains that can be investigated independently. 'Manipulative success' thus becomes the criterion by which to judge the reality of (t
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