Empiricism, stances, and the problem of voluntarism

Synthese 178 (1):27-36 (2011)
Abstract
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 in finding an acceptable form of voluntarism.
Keywords Empiricism  Empirical stance  Epistemic voluntarism  Bas van Fraassen
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Bas C. Van Fraassen (2000). The False Hopes of Traditional Epistemology. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 60 (2):253 - 280.

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