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  1. Marc Alspector-Kelly (2006). Constructive Empiricism and Epistemic Modesty: Response to van Fraassen and Monton. [REVIEW] Erkenntnis 64 (3):371-379.
    Bas van Fraassen claims that constructive empiricism strikes a balance between the empiricist’s commitments to epistemic modesty – that one’s opinion should extend no further beyond the deliverances of experience than is necessary – and to the rationality of science. In “Should the Empiricist be a Constructive Empiricist?” I argued that if the constructive empiricist follows through on her commitment to epistemic modesty she will find herself adopting a much more extreme position than van Fraassen suggests. Van Fraassen and Bradley (...)
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  2. Marc Alspector-Kelly (2004). Seeing the Unobservable: Van Fraassen and the Limits of Experience. [REVIEW] Synthese 140 (3):331-353.
    I. Introduction “We can and do see the truth about many things: ourselves, others, trees and animals, clouds and rivers—in the immediacy of experience.”1 Absent from Bas van Fraassen’s list of those things we see are paramecia and mitochondria. We do not see such things, van Fraassen has long maintained, because they are unobservable, that is, they are undetectable by means of the unaided senses.2 But notice that these two notions—what we can see in the “immediacy” of experience and what (...)
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  3. Marc Alspector-Kelly (2004). Seeing the Unobservable: Van Fraassen and the Limits of Experience. [REVIEW] Synthese 140 (3):331-353.
    Van Fraassen maintains that the information that we canglean from experience is limited to those entities and processes that are detectable bymeans of our unaided senses. His challenge to the realist, I suggest, is that the attemptto inferentially transcend those limits amounts to a reversion to rationalism. Under pressurefrom such examples as microscopic observation, he has recently widened the scope of thephenomena to include object-like experiences without empirical objects of experience.With this change in mind, I argue that van Fraassen needs (...)
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  4. Marc Alspector-Kelly (2003). The NOAer's Dilemma: Constructive Empiricism and the Natural Ontological Attitude. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 33 (3):307 - 322.
  5. Jamin Asay (2009). Constructive Empiricism and Deflationary Truth. Philosophy of Science 76 (4):423-443.
    Constructive empiricists claim to offer a reconstruction of the aim and practice of science without adopting all the metaphysical commitments of scientific realism. Deflationists about truth boast of the ability to offer a full account of the nature of truth without adopting the metaphysical commitments accompanying substantive accounts. Though the two views would form an attractive package, I argue that the pairing is not possible: constructive empiricism requires a substantive account of truth. I articulate what sort of account of truth (...)
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  6. Jamin Asay (2007). Truth in Constructive Empiricism. Dissertation, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    Constructive empiricism, the scientific anti-realism championed by Bas van Fraassen, claims to offer an adequate reconstruction of the aim and practice of scientific inquiry without adopting the inflationary metaphysical excesses of scientific realism. In articulating the positions of the realist and the empiricist, van Fraassen freely makes use of the concept of truth. Theories of truth come in a variety of flavors, some more metaphysically stark than others. Deflationary theories of truth, for instance, boast of the ability to offer a (...)
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  7. Jamin Asay & S. Seth Bordner (forthcoming). A Modest Defense of Manifestationalism. Synthese:1-15.
    As the debate between realists and empiricists in the philosophy of science drags on, one point of consensus has emerged: no one wants to be a manifestationalist. The manifestationalist is a kind of radical empiricist who argues that science provides theories that aim neither at a true picture of the entire world, nor even an empirically adequate picture that captures the world in all its observable respects. For manifestationalists, science aims only at providing theories that are true to the observed (...)
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  8. Prasanta S. Bandyopadhyay (1997). On an Inconsistency in Constructive Empiricism. Philosophy of Science 64 (3):511-514.
    I show that van Fraassen's empiricism leads to mutually incompatible claims with regard to empirical theories. He is committed to the claim that reasons for accepting a theory and believing it are always identical, insofar as the theory in question is an empirical theory. He also makes a general claim that reasons for accepting a theory are not always reasons for believing it irrespective of whether the theory is an empirical theory.
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  9. Vadim Batitsky (1998). Empiricism and the Myth of Fundamental Measurement. Synthese 116 (1):51 - 73.
  10. Peter Baumann (2011). Empiricism, Stances, and the Problem of Voluntarism. Synthese 178 (1):27-36.
    Classical empiricism leads to notorious problems having to do with the (at least prima facie) lack of an acceptable empiricist justification of empiricism itself. Bas van Fraassen claims that his idea of the “empirical stance” can deal with such problems. I argue, however, that this view entails a very problematic form of voluntarism which comes with the threat of latent irrationality and normative inadequacy. However, there is also a certain element of truth in such a voluntarism. The main difficulty consists (...)
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  11. Yann Benétreau-Dupin (2011). An Empiricist Criterion of Meaning. South African Journal of Philosophy 30 (2):95-108.
    The meaning of scientific propositions is not always expressible in terms of observable phenomena. Such propositions involve generalizations, and also terms that are theoretical constructs. I study here how to assess the meaning of scientific propositions, that is, the specific import of theoretical terms. Empiricists have expressed a concern that scientific propositions, and theoretical terms, should always be, to some degree, related to observable consequences. We can see that the former empiricist criterion of meaning only implies for theoretical terms not (...)
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  12. Alexander Bird (2003). Kuhn, Nominalism, and Empiricism. Philosophy of Science 70 (4):690-719.
    In this paper I draw a connection between Kuhn and the empiricist legacy, specifically between his thesis of incommensurability, in particular in its later taxonomic form, and van Fraassen's constructive empiricism. I show that if it is the case the empirically equivalent but genuinely distinct theories do exist, then we can expect such theories to be taxonomically incommensurable. I link this to Hacking's claim that Kuhn was a nominalist. I also argue that Kuhn and van Fraassen do not differ as (...)
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  13. Richard N. Boyd (1985). Lex Orandi Ast Lex Credendi. In P. M. Churchland & C. A. Hooker (eds.), Images of Science: Essays on Realism and Empiricism. University of Chicago Press.
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  14. Bryson Brown (2004). The Pragmatics of Empirical Adequacy. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82 (2):242 – 264.
    Empirical adequacy is a central notion in van Fraassen's empiricist view of science. I argue that van Fraassen's account of empirical adequacy in terms of a partial isomorphism between certain structures in some model(s) of the theory and certain actual structures (the observables) in the world, is untenable. The empirical adequacy of a theory can only be tested in the context of an accepted practice of observation. But because the theory itself does not determine the correct practice of observation, its (...)
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  15. F. A. I. Buekens & F. A. Muller (2012). Intentionality Versus Constructive Empiricism. Erkenntnis 76 (1):91-100.
    By focussing on the intentional character of observation in science, we argue that Constructive Empiricism—B.C. van Fraassen’s much debated and explored view of science—is inconsistent. We then argue there are at least two ways out of our Inconsistency Argument, one of which is more easily to square with Constructive Empiricism than the other.
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  16. Nancy Cartwright (2007). Why Be Hanged for Even a Lamb? In Bradley John Monton (ed.), Images of Empiricism: Essays on Science and Stances, with a Reply From Bas C. Van Fraassen. Oxford University Press.
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  17. Nancy Cartwright (1974). Van Fraassen's Modal Model of Quantum Mechanics. Philosophy of Science 41 (2):199-202.
  18. Anjan Chakravartty (2011). A Puzzle About Voluntarism About Rational Epistemic Stances. Synthese 178 (1):37 - 48.
    The philosophy of science has produced numerous accounts of how scientific facts are generated, from very specific facilitators of belief, such as neo-Kantian constitutive principles, to global frameworks, such as Kuhnian paradigms. I consider a recent addition to this canon: van Fraassen's notion of an epistemic stance— a collection of attitudes and policies governing the generation of factual beliefs— and his commitment to voluntarism in this context: the idea that contrary stances and sets of beliefs are rationally permissible. I argue (...)
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  19. Anjan Chakravartty (2004). Stance Relativism: Empiricism Versus Metaphysics. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 35 (1):173-184.
    In The empirical stance, Bas van Fraassen argues for a reconceptualization of empiricism, and a rejection of its traditional rival, speculative metaphysics, as part of a larger and provocative study in epistemology. Central to his account is the notion of voluntarism in epistemology, and a concomitant understanding of the nature of rationality. In this paper I give a critical assessment of these ideas, with the ultimate goal of clarifying the nature of debate between metaphysicians and empiricists, and more specifically, between (...)
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  20. Anjan Chakravatty (2007). Six Degrees of Speculation : Metaphysics in Empirical Contexts. In Bradley John Monton (ed.), Images of Empiricism: Essays on Science and Stances, with a Reply From Bas C. Van Fraassen. Oxford University Press.
    Metaphysical inquiry often exemplifies characteristics that do not meet with approval in the estimations of empiricists. Most distasteful to them, it seems, is a perceived distance between many of the speculations of metaphysics − about things such as causation, laws of nature, and unobservable stuff more generally − and the sorts of investigations they take to constitute proper empirical inquiry. Like any over-arching movement in the history of philosophy, empiricism has recognized different interlocutors at different times, but it appears that (...)
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  21. Hasok Chang (2005). A Case for Old-Fashioned Observability, and a Reconstructed Constructive Empiricism. Philosophy of Science 72 (5):876-887.
    I develop a concept of observability that pertains to qualities rather than objects: a quality is observable if it can be registered by human sensation (possibly with the aid of instruments) without involving optional interpretations. This concept supports a better description of observations in science and everyday life than the object-based observability concepts presupposing causal information-transfer from the object to the observer. It also allows a rehabilitation of the traditional empiricist distinction between observations and their interpretations, but without a presumption (...)
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  22. Charles Chihara & Carol Chihara (1993). A Biological Objection to Constructive Empiricism. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (4):653-658.
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  23. Gabriele Contessa (2009). Review of Bas C. Van Fraassen, Scientific Representation: Paradoxes of Perspective. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2009 (3).
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  24. Gabriele Contessa (2006). Constructive Empiricism, Observability, and Three Kinds of Ontological Commitment. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 37 (4):454–468.
    In this paper, I argue that, contrary to the constructive empiricist’s position, observability is not an adequate criterion as a guide to ontological commitment in science. My argument has two parts. First, I argue that the constructive empiricist’s choice of observability as a criterion for ontological commitment is based on the assumption that belief in the existence of unobservable entities is unreasonable because belief in the existence of an entity can only be vindicated by its observation. Second, I argue that (...)
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  25. Pierre Cruse (2007). Van Fraassen on the Nature of Empiricism. Metaphilosophy 38 (4):489-508.
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  26. Richard Dawid, High Energy Physics and Constructive Empiricism.
    Progress in elementary particle physics in recent decades has changed the status of the visible phenomena in the context of scientific research. Empiricist positions in philosophy of science, which put particular emphasis on the pre-eminence of the visible regime, are affected by this development. In spite of its less radical claims, constructive empiricism turns out to run into more serious problems than straightforward instrumentalism. The constructive empiricist’s emphasis on the scientist’s aims makes it essential for her to provide a satisfactory (...)
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  27. Paul Dicken (2010). Constructive Empiricism: Epistemology and the Philosophy of Science. Palgrave Macmillan.
  28. Paul Dicken (2009). Constructive Empiricism and the Vices of Voluntarism. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 17 (2):189 – 201.
    Constructive empiricism - as formulated by Bas van Fraassen - makes no epistemological claims about the nature of science. Rather, it is a view about the aim of science, to be situated within van Fraassen's broader voluntarist epistemology. Yet while this epistemically minimalist framework may have various advantages in defending the epistemic relevance of constructive empiricism, I show how it also has various disadvantages in maintaining its internal coherence.
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  29. Paul Dicken (2009). On the Syntax and Semantics of Observability: A Reply to Muller and Van Fraassen. Analysis 69 (1):38-42.
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  30. Paul Dicken (2007). Constructive Empiricism and the Metaphysics of Modality. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 58 (3):605 - 612.
    James Ladyman ([2000]) argues that constructive empiricism is untenable because it cannot adequately account for modal statements about observability. In this paper, I attempt to resist Ladyman's conclusion, arguing that the constructive empiricist can grant his modal discourse objective, theory-independent truth-conditions, yet without compromising his empiricism.
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  31. Paul Dicken & Peter Lipton (2006). What Can Bas Believe? Musgrave and Van Fraassen on Observability. Analysis 66 (291):226–233.
  32. I. Douven (2009). Review: Bradley Monton: Images of Empiricism: Essays on Science and Stances, with a Reply From Bas C. Van Fraassen. [REVIEW] Mind 118 (470):504-507.
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  33. Catherine Z. Elgin (2010). Keeping Things in Perspective. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 150 (3):439 - 447.
    Scientific realism holds that scientific representations are utterly objective. They describe the way the world is, independent of any point of view. In Scientific Representation, van Fraassen argues otherwise. If science is to afford an understanding of nature, it must be grounded in evidence. Since evidence is perspectivai, science cannot vindicate its claims using only utterly objective representations. For science to do its epistemic job, it must involve perspectivai representations. I explicate this argument and show its power.
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  34. Bas C. Fraassen (1994). Gideon Rosen on Constructive Empiricism. Philosophical Studies 74 (2):179 - 192.
    In response to parts I-III of G Rosen's "What is Constructive Empiricism?", "Philosophical Studies", 74, 1994, 143-178, this paper examines several construals of the position of constructive empiricism. At issue, in part, is the equation of intentional aspects of science with the intentions and opinions of scientists. In addition it is necessary to distinguish the constructive empiricist -- a philosopher holding that acceptance of theories in science need not involve belief that they are true -- from the scientific agnostic' who (...)
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  35. Carlo Gabbani & Marc Lange (2011). Bas van Fraassen's Scientific Representation. Iris. European Journal of Philosophy and Public Debate 2 (3):245-256.
  36. Yvon Gauthier (1981). The Scientific Image, Par Bas C. Van Fraassen, Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1980. 238 Pages. [REVIEW] Dialogue 20 (03):579-586.
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  37. Ronald N. Giere (2009). Bas C. Van Fraassen: Scientific Representation: Paradoxes of Perspective,. [REVIEW] Philosophy of Science 76 (1).
  38. Bruce L. Gordon (2003). Ontology Schmontology? Identity, Individuation, and Fock Space. Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1343-1356.
    It is argued that if the nature of the "equivalence" between first-quantized particle theories and second- quantized (Fock Space) theories is examined closely, if the inadequacies of de Muynck`s "indexed particle" version of Fock Space are recognized, and if the question is not begged against modal metaphysics, then van Fraassen`s attempted deflation of ontological issues in quantum theory can be seen to fail.
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  39. Anthony Graybosch (1990). Observation, Instrumentalism, and Constructive Empiricism. Southwest Philosophy Review 6 (2):1-17.
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  40. Thomas R. Grimes (1984). An Appraisal of Van Fraassen's Constructive Empiricism. Philosophical Studies 45 (2):261 - 268.
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  41. Hans Halvorson (2013). The Semantic View, If Plausible, Is Syntactic. Philosophy of Science 80 (3):475-478.
  42. Hans Halvorson (2012). What Scientific Theories Could Not Be. Philosophy of Science 79 (2):183-206.
    According to the semantic view of scientific theories, theories are classes of models. I show that this view -- if taken seriously as a formal explication -- leads to absurdities. In particular, this view equates theories that are truly distinct, and it distinguishes theories that are truly equivalent. Furthermore, the semantic view lacks the resources to explicate interesting theoretical relations, such as embeddability of one theory into another. The untenability of the semantic view -- as currently formulated -- threatens to (...)
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  43. Joseph F. Hanna (2004). Contra Ladyman: What Really is Right with Constructive Empiricism. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (4):767-777.
    there be an objective modal distinction between the observable and the unobservable.’ My intent is to counter Ladyman's claim that the irreducibly modal character of empirical adequacy is something that is ‘really wrong with constructive empiricism’. I argue that disposition concepts refer to non-modal properties of types rather than to modal properties of tokens of those types. Solubility, for example, is an ‘occurrent’, though unobservable, property of a type of substance (involving the structure of associated atoms); and observability is, similarly, (...)
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  44. Philip P. Hanson & Edwin Levy (1982). Book Review:The Scientific Image Bas C. Van Fraassen. [REVIEW] Philosophy of Science 49 (2):290-.
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  45. Dien Ho (2007). Farewell to Empiricism. In Bradley John Monton (ed.), Images of Empiricism: Essays on Science and Stances, with a Reply From Bas C. Van Fraassen. Oxford University Press.
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  46. Valeriano Iranzo (2002). Constructive Empiricism and Scientific Practice. A Case Study. Theoria 17 (2):335-357.
    According to van Fraassen, constructive empiricism (CE) makes better sense of scientific activity than scientific realism (SR). I discuss a recent episode in biomedical research - investigations about Helicobacter Pylori and its relation to peptic ulcer. CE's expedient to cope with it is a sort of belief substitution. I argue that replacing realist beliefs by empiricist surrogates (as-if beliefs) could accommodate scientists' expectations and behavior. Nonetheless, theoretical agnosticism could hardly motivate scientists to focus just on the observational consequences derived from (...)
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  47. Valeriano Iranzo (2001). Bad Lots, Good Explanations (Malos lotes, buenas explicaciones). Critica 33 (98):71 - 96.
    Van Fraassen's argument from the "bad lot" challenges realist interpretations of inference to the best explanation (IBE). In this paper I begin by discussing the replies suggested by S. Psillos and P. Lipton. I do not find them convincing. However, I think that van Fraassen's argument is flawed. First of all, it is a non sequitur. Secondly, I think that the real target for the scientific realist is the underlying assumption that epistemic justification results from a comparative assessment among rival (...)
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  48. Anja Jauernig (2007). Must Empiricism Be a Stance, and Could It Be One? How to Be an Empiricist and a Philosopher at the Same Time. In Bradley John Monton (ed.), Images of Empiricism: Essays on Science and Stances, with a Reply From Bas C. Van Fraassen. Oxford University Press.
    In his recent book, The Empirical Stance, Bas van Fraassen forcefully raises the question of what a philosophical position can or should be. He mainly discusses this question with regard to empiricism but his discussion makes it clear that he takes his proposed answer to be generalizable: not only empiricism but philosophical positions in general should be understood as stances rather than dogmata. The first part of this essay is devoted to an examination of van Fraassen’s critique of ‘naïve’ or (...)
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  49. James Ladyman (2011). The Scientistic Stance: The Empirical and Materialist Stances Reconciled. Synthese 178 (1):87 - 98.
    van Fraassen (The empirical stance, 2002) contrasts the empirical stance with the materialist stance. The way he describes them makes both of them attractive, and while opposed they have something in common for both stances are scientific approaches to philosophy. The difference between them reflects their differing conceptions of science itself. Empiricists emphasise fallibilism, verifiability and falsifiability, and also to some extent scepticism and tolerance of novel hypotheses. Materialists regard the theoretical picture of the world as matter in motion as (...)
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  50. James Ladyman (2007). The Epistemology of Constructive Empiricism. In Bradley John Monton (ed.), Images of Empiricism: Essays on Science and Stances, with a Reply From Bas C. Van Fraassen. Oxford University Press.
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