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Understanding Inconsistent Science
1. Introduction 2. Concepts and Method 3. Bohr's Theory of the Atom 4. Classical Electrodynamics 5. Newtonian Cosmology 6. The Early Calculus 7. Further Examples 8. Conclusion Bibliography
A Confrontation of Convergent Realism
  • P. Vickers
  • Sociology
  • Philosophy of Science
  • 1 April 2013
For many years—and with some energy since Laudan’s “Confutation of Convergent Realism” (1981)—the scientific realist has sought to accommodate examples of false-yet-successful theories in the historyExpand
Miraculous Success? Inconsistency and Untruth in Kirchhoff’s Diffraction Theory
Kirchhoff’s diffraction theory is introduced as a new case study in the realism debate. The theory is extremely successful despite being both inconsistent and not even approximately true. SomeExpand
Conceptual fragmentation and the rise of eliminativism
Pluralist and eliminativist positions have proliferated within both science and philosophy of science in recent decades. This paper asks the question why this shift of thinking has occurred, andExpand
Frisch, Muller, and Belot on an Inconsistency in Classical Electrodynamics
  • P. Vickers
  • Philosophy, Physics
  • The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
  • 20 November 2007
This paper follows up a debate as to whether classical electrodynamics is inconsistent. Mathias Frisch makes the claim in Inconsistency, Asymmetry and Non-Locality ([2005]), but this has been quicklyExpand
Was Newtonian Cosmology Really Inconsistent
This paper follows up a debate as to the consistency of Newtonian cosmology. Whereas Malament [(1995). Is Newtonian cosmology really inconsistent? Philosophy of Science 62, 489–510] has shown thatExpand
Scientific Theory Eliminativism
The philosopher of science faces overwhelming disagreement in the literature on the definition, nature, structure, ontology, and content of scientific theories. These disagreements are at leastExpand
Understanding the selective realist defence against the PMI
  • P. Vickers
  • Sociology, Computer Science
  • Synthese
  • 1 September 2017
This paper aims to establish two results: (i) sometimes a proposition is, in an important sense, ‘doing work’, and yet does not warrant realist commitment, and (ii) the realist will be able to respond to PMI-style historical challenges if she can merely show that certain selected posits do not require realistcommitment. Expand
Historical magic in old quantum theory?
Two successes of old quantum theory are particularly notable: Bohr’s prediction of the spectral lines of ionised helium, and Sommerfeld’s prediction of the fine-structure of the hydrogen spectralExpand
Disarming the Ultimate Historical Challenge to Scientific Realism
  • P. Vickers
  • Philosophy, Physics
  • The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
  • 28 June 2018
It is argued that the realist has a story to tell vis-à-vis the discontinuities between the old and the new theory, leading to a realist defence based on sufficient continuity of relevant structure. Expand