Scientific Realism vs. Anti-Realism

This week we will again debate a controversial issue together in class.

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Our question is this: Is scientific realism an adequate way to think about science or does some form of antirealism make more sense? In other words, does science help us get in touch with the truth about reality or does science have some other function?

We have read at least two overviews of this controversy, and now it is our turn to weigh the reasoning on each side by answering:

1. For the Realist position:

a. What are the strengths of the Realist position? Why do you say so?
b. What are the weaknesses of the Realist position? What makes you think this?

2. For the Anti-Realist position:

a. What are the strengths of the Antirealist position? What makes you say so?

b. What are the weaknesses of the Antirealist position? Why do you think this?

3. Which side seems best, all things considered, and why do you say so?

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