The author attempts to show that scientific realism is compatible with the presence of idealization in the sciences. His main contention is that idealized theories can be treated as counterfactuals about how things are in worlds that are similar to but simpler than the actual world.
MICHAEL SHAFFER is Associate Professor of Philosophy at St. Cloud State University, USA. He is the author of The Experimental Turn and the Methods of Philosophy, co-editor of What Place for the A Priori? and has published many articles about epistemology, logic and the philosophy of science.