more from Hilary Putnam

Single Idea 22181

[catalogued under 7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 3. Anti-realism]

Full Idea

Putnam's 'no miracle' argument says that being an anti-realist is akin to believing in miracles (because of the accurate predictons). …It is a plausibility argument - an inference to the best explanation.

Gist of Idea

Putnam says anti-realism is a bad explanation of accurate predictions


report of Hilary Putnam (works [1980]) by Samir Okasha - Philosophy of Science: Very Short Intro (2nd ed) 4

Book Reference

Okasha,Samir: 'Philosophy of Science: very short intro (2nd ed)' [OUP 2016], p.59

A Reaction

[not sure of ref] Putnam later backs off from this argument, but my personal realism rests on best explanation. Does anyone want to prefer an inferior explanation? The objection is that successful theories can turn out to be false. Phlogiston, ether.