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Philosophy of Science

Philosophy of science

University at Albany, State University of New York

2004

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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

Realist Ennui And The Base Rate Fallacy, P.D. Magnus, Craig Callender Jul 2004

Realist Ennui And The Base Rate Fallacy, P.D. Magnus, Craig Callender

Philosophy Faculty Scholarship

The no‐miracles argument and the pessimistic induction are arguably the main considerations for and against scientific realism. Recently these arguments have been accused of embodying a familiar, seductive fallacy. In each case, we are tricked by a base rate fallacy, one much‐discussed in the psychological literature. In this paper we consider this accusation and use it as an explanation for why the two most prominent ‘wholesale’ arguments in the literature seem irresolvable. Framed probabilistically, we can see very clearly why realists and anti‐realists have been talking past one another. We then formulate a dilemma for advocates of ...