The Problem of Unobserved Anomalies

  • Seungbae Park
Keywords: instrumentalism, pessimistic induction, scientific antirealism, unconceived alternatives, unobserved anomalies


Scientific antirealism, the view that successful theories are empirically adequate, is untenable in light of the problem of unobserved anomalies that since past scientists could not observe the anomalies that caused the replacement of past theories with present theories, present scientists cannot observe the anomalies either that will cause the replacement of present theories with future theories. There are several moves that antirealists would be tempted to make to get around the problem of unobserved anomalies. All of them, however, are problematic.
Ontology and Philosophy of Science