Epistemic Privilege and the Success of Science



Realists and anti-realists disagree about whether contemporary scientists are epistemically privileged. Because the issue of epistemic privilege figures in arguments in support of and against theoretical knowledge in science, it is worth examining whether or not there is any basis for assuming such privilege. I show that arguments that try to explain the success of science by appeal to some sort of epistemic privilege have, so far, failed. They have failed to give us reason to believe (i) that scientists are prone to develop theories that are true, (ii) that our current theories are not apt to be replaced in the future, and (iii) that science is nearing its completion.