The truths in physics are dependent on falsehoods

Truth in physics is scale and context dependent

Science is undeniably great as a predictive tool. But it’s also full of idealizations – false claims in the form of simplification, exaggeration, and outright distortion. That would seem to rule out scientific realism, the idea that science manages to uncover the fundamental structure of reality. But Elay Shech argues that by contextualizing scientific claims relative to scale and internal standards of a theory, scientific realism can still be defended.


Science is our best epistemic enterprise; it is our best source of knowledge, explanation, and understanding, and it would seem irrational not to believe in its claims. Science also tells us amazing things about the world. It tells us that all matter is made up of fundamental entities too small for the naked eye to see. That there can be correlations between these unobservable entities, particles like electrons, even if they are light years apart. We learn about the properties and behaviors of, or pat

Continue reading

Enjoy unlimited access to the world's leading thinkers.

Start by exploring our subscription options or joining our mailing list today.

Start Free Trial

Already a subscriber? Log in

Join the conversation