Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Realism and the Infinitely Faceted World : Intimations from the 1950s

Alberto Cordero


Breaking away from logical-empiricism, in the early 1950s Stephen Toulmin presented empirical theories as maps, thereby opening a fertile line of reflection about background interests and their impact on abstraction in scientific theorizing. A few years later, pointing to the “qualitative infinity of nature,” David Bohm denounced what he regarded as counterproductive constraints on the scientific imagination. In realist circles, these two strands of suggestions would be variously supplemented over the following decades with further recognitions of the epistemic merits of partial approximate descriptions and the role of background knowledge and interests in scientific theorizing.

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