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Scientific Realism

The purpose of scientific realism is not to find replicable cause–effect relationships under highly constrained laboratory conditions but to investigate reality sufficiently well that it may be explained and understood.

Table 1 shows a scientific realist’s view of the nature of reality. Reality includes structures and processes that are necessary to but may or may not produce events that may or may not be experienced. All three are real: The underlying structures and processes exist whether they produce events or not. The events exist whether they are experienced or not. The experiences represent someone’s processing of the events.

Although there is no experience without events, an experience of an event is not the event itself. What happened is always transformed by our experience with the event. ...

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