David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Synthese 178 (1):37 - 48 (2011)
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 that while scientific inquiry inevitably favours a high degree of consensus in our choices of stance, there is no parallel constraint in the case of philosophical inquiry, such as that concerned with how scientific knowledge should be interpreted. This leads, in the latter case, to a fundamental and apparently irresolvable mystery at the heart of stance voluntarism, regarding the grounds for choosing basic epistemic stances
|Keywords||Stances Voluntarism Values Relativism Scientific progress Philosophical progress|
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References found in this work BETA
Simon Blackburn (1993). Essays in Quasi-Realism. Oxford University Press.
Edmund Husserl (1970). The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology. Evanston,Northwestern University Press.
Anjan Chakravartty (2007). A Metaphysics for Scientific Realism: Knowing the Unobservable. Cambridge University Press.
Larry Laudan (1984). Science and Values: The Aims of Science and Their Role in Scientific Debate. University of California Press.
Bas C. van Fraassen (2001). Constructive Empiricism Now. Philosophical Studies 106 (1-2):151 - 170.
Citations of this work BETA
Sandy C. Boucher (2014). What is a Philosophical Stance? Paradigms, Policies and Perspectives. Synthese 191 (10):2315-2332.
Sandy C. Boucher (2015). Functionalism and Structuralism as Philosophical Stances: Van Fraassen Meets the Philosophy of Biology. Biology and Philosophy 30 (3):383-403.
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