The debate between scientific realists and anti-realists goes on, each side drawing new arguments from a seemingly bottomless reservoir, only to have them repudiated by the opposing party. A little while ago it was structural realism. Now Kyle Stanford presents us with a new twist on one of the classical arguments for anti-realism: the pessimistic induction. The old argument is simple. Its premiss is that past scientific theories have always turned out to be false; therefore, by induction, we must expect that our current and future theories will also turn out to be false — and therefore the anti-realists are right to enjoin us not to believe any theories. As for Stanford’s new argument, I have a pessimistic induction of my own: all past arguments in support of either realism or anti-realism have been found to be defective; therefore I predict that present and future arguments...

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