Constructive Empiricism and Epistemic Modesty: Response to van Fraassen and Monton [Book Review]

Erkenntnis 64 (3):371-379 (2006)
Abstract
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 Monton have recently responded. My purpose here is to contest their response. The goal is not merely the rebuttal of a rebuttal; there is a lesson to learn concerning the realist/anti-realist dialectic generated by van Fraassen’s view
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    References found in this work BETA
    Bradley Monton & Bas C. van Fraassen (2003). Constructive Empiricism and Modal Nominalism. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 54 (3):405-422.
    Peter Railton (1989). Explanation and Metaphysical Controversy. In Philip Kitcher & Wesley Salmon (eds.), Scientific Explanation. Univ of Minnesota Pr. 13--220.

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