Essay On Scientific Realism

799 Words4 Pages
Scientific realism is often defined as the approximate theoretical truth regarding matters and phenomena of the world around us, including those observable and unobservable. Some people consider realism as successful reference of theories to the real world. Alternatively, definition of scientific realism is also expressed in terms of belief in the ontology of scientific theories instead of truth or reference. Nonetheless, even though Chakravartty (2014) admitted that “it is perhaps only a slight exaggeration to say that scientific realism is characterized differently by every author who discusses it”, the different views do share something in common: they all aim to establish knowledge about the world including also the unobservable aspects.…show more content…
Realism might be the most intuitive position (Cruse 2003), as most would probably assume that what our best scientific theories say about the world is all true. The straight-forward and rather understandable reason is that these best scientists all seem to have scientifically trustworthy evidence for the claims they have about the world. Let us then investigate one holding in particular such as electrons exist. Electrons were said to be discovered by physicist J.J. Thomson in 1897 even though the term ‘electron’ itself was occasionally used for different hypothetical posits before that discovery. The discovery went as follow. If an ‘anode’ and a ‘cathode’ – two metal terminals connected to a wire carrying an electric current – are placed together inside a vacuum tube, a visible ‘ray’ that travels between the anode and the cathode is created. Debate about the validity of these rays – are they made of waves or particles – were well present during the latter part of the nineteenth century. J. J. Thomson succeeded as the first person who proved that the rays are negatively charged particles by showing how the electric field deflected them. He even moved one step further by measuring these particles’ mass. In short, electrons were thought to exist because they were the best explanation of results relating to cathode rays. (Cruse

More about Essay On Scientific Realism

Open Document