Hacking's Experimental Realism

  title={Hacking's Experimental Realism},
  author={David B. Resnik},
  journal={Canadian Journal of Philosophy},
  pages={395 - 411}
  • D. Resnik
  • Published 1 August 1994
  • Philosophy, Education
  • Canadian Journal of Philosophy
Traditional debates about scientific realism tend to focus on issues concerning scientific representation (broadly speaking) and de-emphasize issues concerning scientific intervention. Questions about the relation between theories and the world, the nature of scientific inference, and the structure of scientific explanations have occupied a central place in the realism debate, while questions about experimentation and technology have not. Ian Hacking's experimental realism attempts to reverse… 

Roy Bhaskar and Ian Hacking. The Problem of Scientific Realism in the Light of Philosophical Reflection on the Laboratory

The article seeks to explore the problem of scientific realism in the light of phil-osophical reflection on the laboratory. Two philosophical positions within realism are discussed: transcendental

Manipulative success and the unreal

In its original form due to Ian Hacking, entity realism postulates a criterion of manipulative success which replaces explanatory virtue as the criterion of justified scientific belief. The article

Discussions Quinton’s Neglected Argument for Scientific Realism

SummaryThis paper discusses an argument for scientific realism put forward by Anthony Quinton in The Nature of Things. The argument – here called the controlled continuity argument – seems to have

Re-Thinking Scientific Realism: Structure and Beyond

This thesis examines the contemporary scientific realism debate, with a special focus on the various forms of structural realism. It comprises three parts. The first part prefaces the work with a

Theory of Induction and Scientific Realism

John Norton has advanced a general view of induction—Material Theory of Induction—that renders ampliative reasoning in a deep sense local. This paper is a sympathetic appraisal of this view, applying

How to be a scientific realist (if at all): a study of partial realism

"Partial realism" is a common position in the contemporary philosophy of science literature. It states that the "essential" elements of empirically successful scientific theories accurately

Material Theory of Induction and Scientific Realism

John Norton has advanced a general view of induction---`Material Theory of Induction'---that renders ampliative reasoning in a deep sense local. This paper is a sympathetic appraisal of this view,

Entity realism and singularist semirealism

It is argued that the only way entity realists can resist the pull of straight scientific realism about theories is by endorsing a recent new player in the scientific realism debate: singularist semirealism.

Entity Realism About Mental Representations

The concept of mental representation has long been considered to be central concept of philosophy of mind and cognitive science. But not everyone agrees. Neo-behaviorists aim to explain the mind (or

Perceiving Empirical Objects Directly

The goal of this paper is to defend the claim that there is such a thing as direct perception, where by ‘direct perception’ I mean perception unmediated by theorizing or concepts. The basis for my



A Confutation of Convergent Realism

This essay contains a partial exploration of some key concepts associated with the epistemology of realist philosophies of science. It shows that neither reference nor approximate truth will do the

Scientific Explanation and the Causal Structure of the World

The philosophical theory of scientific explanation proposed here involves a radically new treatment of causality that accords with the pervasively statistical character of contemporary science.

Extragalactic Reality: The Case of Gravitational Lensing

My Representing and Intervening (1983) concludes with what it calls an experimental argument for scientific realism about entities. The argument is evidently inapplicable to extragalactic

Astronomy and Antirealism

  • D. Shapere
  • Physics, Philosophy
    Philosophy of Science
  • 1993
Relying on an analysis of the case of gravitational lensing, Hacking argues for a "modest antirealism" in astronomy. It is shown here that neither his scientific arguments nor his philosophical

Statistics: Principles and Methods

Organization and Description of Data Descriptive Study of Bivariate Data Probability Probability Distributions Binomial Distribution and its Application in Testing Hypotheses The Normal Distribution

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

A good book may have the power to change the way we see the world, but a great book actually becomes part of our daily consciousness, pervading our thinking to the point that we take it for granted,