Scientific Realism and the Conflict with Common Sense
Source TitleNew Approaches to Scientific Realism
University of Melbourne Author/sSankey, Charles
AffiliationSchool of Historical and Philosophical Studies
CitationsSankey, H. (2020). Scientific Realism and the Conflict with Common Sense. Gonzalez, W (Ed.). New Approaches to Scientific Realism, (1st), pp.68-83. De Gruyter.
Access StatusThis item is embargoed and will be available on 2021-12-31
The aim of this paper is to identify and resolve a tension between scientific realism and commonsense realism that arises due to a purported conflict between science and common sense. It has sometimes been held that common sense is antiquated theory which is found to be false and eliminated with the advance of science. In this paper, a distinction is proposed between three kinds of common sense: practical skill; widely held belief; basic common sense. It is agreed that common sense in the sense of widely held belief does succumb to the advance of science. It is left open to what extent practical skill varies with scientific change. It is argued that basic common sense is by and large resistant to change due to scientific change. Epistemological aspects of basic common sense are explored. A number of objections to the proposal about basic common sense are considered. It is suggested that basic common sense is sufficiently epistemologically robust to provide a foundation both for scientific knowledge and for scientific realism.
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