SOPhiA 2022

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programme - Talk

Epistemic Stances, Argumentation and Simulation.
(Philosophy of Science, English)

The debate between scientific realists and anti-realists is now a classic debate in the Philosophy of Science. Van Fraassen (2002) has suggested that the positions that take part in the debate not only take different doxastic attitudes regarding some propositions, but they adopt different epistemic stances, that is, different sets of commitments, values and epistemic strategies. The formulation of this debate in terms of epistemic stances and the voluntarist epistemology it motivates make it plausible to think of it as a deep disagreement. This kind of disagreements are ones that cannot be settled by reason alone because they lack the conditions that are necessary for arguments to work. In fact, we observe that arguments are not effective in changing neither realists - nor anti-realists - point of view. I argue, however, that the attempts to use arguments can have an epistemic value in these contexts. After analyzing one of the most famous arguments in the history of the debate, the No Miracles Argument, I conclude that, even if it is true that it cannot convince any anti-realist of changing her mind, it can trigger some of her realist intuitions. The statements that make up and argument, then, do not work as proper arguments in this context, but can help us make our opponent participate in a simulation that reveals her dispositions to accept some propositions and engage in some kinds of epistemic practices. In this deep disagreement, what we mean as arguments are, in fact, a certain type of thought experiment and, while they are not able to make us accept a proposition as the result of an inference, they can generate some common intuitions that can get us closer to settle the debate.

Chair: Wojciech Grabon
Time: 10:40-11:10, 09. September 2022 (Friday)
Location: SR 1.004

Dalila Serebrinsky 
(University of Buenos Aires, Argentina)

Testability and Meaning deco