This e-book bargains a wonderfully transparent research of the normal arguments for and opposed to clinical realism. In surveying claims on each side of the controversy, Kukla organizes them in ways in which reveal neglected connections. He identifies huge styles of mistakes, reconciles doubtless incompatible positions, and discovers unoccupied positions with the capability to steer additional debate. Kukla's total evaluation is that neither the realists nor the antirealists may possibly declare a decisive victory.

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But all three arguments apply just as well, mutatis mutandis, to the  distinction between observable versus unobservable entities. The second argument—the charge that the distinction "shifts from one scientific problem to another"—is  essentially the same as what Fodor calls the "ordinary­language" argument. Let's look at the other two. Maxwell's first argument is that the distinction between observable and unobservable is a matter of degree rather than a dichotomy. He presents several graded series  of events to persuade us of this thesis. The most persuasive, I think, is the series that begins with hydrogen molecules and ends with enormous lumps of plastic: Contemporary valency theory tells us that there is a virtually continuous transition from very small molecules (such as those of hydrogen) through "medium­sized" ones (such as  those of the fatty acids, polypeptides, proteins, and viruses) to extremely large ones (such as crystals of the salts, diamonds, and lumps of polymeric plastic). The molecules in the  last­mentioned group are macro, "directly observable" physical objects but are, nevertheless, genuine, single molecules; on the other hand, those in the first­mentioned group  have the same perplexing properties as subatomic particles (de Broglie waves, Heisenberg indeterminacy, etc. ). Are we to say that a large protein molecule (e. g. , a virus) which can  be "seen" only with an electron microscope is a little less real or exists to somewhat less an extent than does a molecule of a polymer which can be seen with an optical  microscope? And does a hydrogen molecule partake of only an infinitesimal portion of existence or reality? Although there certainly is a continuous transition from observability  to unobservability, any talk of such a continuity from full­blown existence to nonexistence is, clearly, nonsense. (1962, 9) The argument, in brief, is that observability­unobservability is a continuum, whereas existence­nonexistence is a dichotomy; therefore, whether or not something exists  can't be determined by its observational status. The first and obvious antirealist retort to this argument is that it isn't necessary for antirealists to claim that only the observable exists. Van Fraassen certainly doesn't      Page 131 claim this. What van Fraassen and other epistemic antirealists want to say is that it is only information about the observable properties of observable things that is  believable—and believability surely does come in degrees. So why can't antirealists say that, ceteris paribus, a claim is more believable to the extent that it deals with  entities and events on the observable end of the continuum? Foss has noted that this "Bayesian" solution has the shortcoming that it would "dramatically reduce the  difference between constructive empiricism and realism": If the constructive empiricist embraces the "Bayesian" solution . . . , then when he accepts a theory he will have various degrees of belief that each of the various theses of the  theory is true.

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