Observationality: Quine and the Epistemological Nihilists

Quine has proposed an alternative criterion for identifying observation sentences which has not yet received serious evaluation. We investigate this new criterion, showing how it differs from more traditional criteria and measuring it against the major objections to traditional criteria. Our judgment is that it meets Suppe's and Achinstein's objections and one version of the theory-ladenness objection offered by Hanson, Feyerabend, and Kuhn. We suggest how it might also provide an answer to the more serious version of the theory-ladenness objection. To determine whether it meets this final objection, though, requires actual analysis of scientific cases, which has not yet been performed.
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