Infoscience

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Does Stanford's induction apply to engineering sciences?

Recent works in scientific realism by Stanford (2006) and Chakravartty (2008) have generated interests in the research of a more selective and sophisticated scientific realism. Such debates advance the philosophical development of scientific realism, and arguably shape scientific realism toward a more refined description. Among many scientific theories discussed by Stanford (2006) and Chakravartty (2008), we have found their examples excluding those from engineering sciences, and this attracts our attention. In this paper, we first give an overview of Stanford's induction. Second, we analyze the arguments presented by Stanford (2006) and Chakravartty (2008) in depth to explore possible reasons why engineering sciences are seemly out of the scope of the debates. Third, we re-examine the philosophical debates by Stanford (2006) and Chakravartty (2008) in the context of an interesting case in mechanical engineering, d'Alembert's paradox, presented by Grimberg (2008). We conclude in the final section on the validity of applying Stanford's induction to engineering sciences.

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