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For example, consider the idea that one should think of explanatory virtue as an important desideratum in determining what to believe, or that one should privilege the methods of the sciences. These are policies regarding the generation of factual beliefs, and policies are not themselves true or false. Certainly, it may be true or false that adopting a particular stance is likely to produce facts as opposed to likely falsehoods, but stances are not themselves propositional for the most part. They furnish guidelines for ways of acting.

The miracle argument for realism is thus accommodated. On the other hand, if one takes only certain parts of theories consisting in descriptions of structures to describe the world, one ostensibly has a ready response to the worry of theoretical discontinuity over time. One is in a position to sacrifice anything but the desired structural aspects of theories to PI. Realist advocates of SR take inspiration from predecessors who are by no means unified in their philosophical motivations, including Henri Poincare´, Bertrand Russell, Ernst Cassirer, Moritz Schlick, and Rudolph Carnap (Gower 2000 gives a historical survey of some early structuralists).

In response to the question of how anyone could think that M1 and M2 lead to substantive contentions, one might legitimately wonder what sort of answer would suffice. There is an interesting question here of the burden of proof. In just the same way that the empiricist wants to know what reason anyone might have for thinking that metaphysical claims are substantive, the sceptic might well ask constructive empiricists to show, for example, that their claims about the world are, in fact, something more than coherent nonsense, and so on and so forth.

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