Laws of nature, natural properties, and the robustly best system

This paper addresses a famous objection against David Lewis’ Best System Analysis (BSA) of laws of nature. The objection—anticipated and discussed by Lewis (1994)—focuses on the standards of simplicity and strength being (in part) a matter of psychology. Lewis’ answer to the objection relies on his metaphysics of natural properties and its ability to single […]

Read more

The implementation, interpretation and justification of likelihoods in cosmology

I discuss the formal implementation, interpretation, and justification of likelihood attributions in cosmology. I show that likelihood arguments in cosmology suffer from significant conceptual and formal problems that undermine their applicability in this context. Download Open Access PDF doi: 10.1016/j.shpsb.2017.05.002 Link to Edinburgh Research Explorer [research repository]: McCoy, C.D. (2017) The implementation, interpretation and justification of […]

Read more

Three tales of scientific success

Success-to-truth inferences have been the realist stronghold for long time. Scientific success is the parameter by which realists claim to discern approximately true theories from false ones. But scientific success needs be probed a bit deeper. In this paper, I tell three tales of scientific success, by considering in turn success from nowhere, success from […]

Read more

Bringing Real Realism back home: a perspectival slant

In this essay, I suggest bringing real realism closer home, namely back to its Kantian roots. The very same roots that make real realism a ‘homely’ kind of realism, against any Grand Metaphysical Conclusions about the world, its causal necessities, and natural kinds. I suggest reinterpreting a key aspect of real realism—i.e., the notion of […]

Read more

Four Kinds of Perspectival Truth

In this paper, I assess recent claims in philosophy of science about scientific perspectivism being compatible with realism. I clarify the rationale for scientific perspectivism and the problems and challenges that perspectivism faces in delivering a form of realism. In particular, I concentrate my attention on truth, and on ways in which truth can be […]

Read more