Spontaneous Generations: A Journal for the History and Philosophy of Science [Internet]. 2018;9(1):35-37.
I raise two challenges for scientific realists. The first is a pessimistic meta-induction (PMI), but not of the more common type, which focuses on rejected theories and abandoned entities. Rather, the PMI I have in mind departs from conceptual change, which is ubiquitous in science. Scientific concepts change over time, often to a degree that is difficult to square with the stability of their referents, a sine qua non for realists. The second challenge is to make sense of successful scientific practice that was centered on entities that have turned out to be fictitious.
Department of History and Philosophy of Science, School of Sciences, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, University Campus, Ano Ilisia, 157 71 Athens, Greece Tel./Fax: +30 210 7275524 e-mail: email@example.com