10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2008
This book provides an up-to-date look at the scientific realism/anti-realism debate, and provides a new take on that perennial philosphical issue. Specifically, Chakravartty is interested in defending a form of scientific realism, but not a naive sort of scientific realism. He develops a version of scientific realism that is, in part, informed by the new work being done on structural realism (while nevertheless remaining critical of a lot of the structural realists' arguments.) He's also interested in providing a metaphysics for scientific realism, but he tries to provide a metaphysics that the scientific anti-realist would be happy with (or at least, would be more sympathetic to than a standard metaphysics). For example, he believes in natural kinds, but he doesn't think that there's a single correct division of the world into natural kinds.
This novel, well-thought-out, and well-written take on these various issues leads me to recommend this book to anyone interested in current debates in philosophy of science or metaphysics.