On the coherence of instrumentalism

Philosophy of Science 59 (3):492-497 (1992)
Abstract
According to a certain type of instrumentalist, we may have good reasons for accepting scientific theories, but never for believing more than their empirical consequences. Horwich (1991) considers several attempts to capture a difference between acceptance and belief, and claims that none of them succeed. He concludes that instrumentalism has not been shown to be a coherent position. However, in the course of his discussion, Horwich himself deploys a conceptual apparatus which is sufficient for formulating the instrumentalist doctrine in a coherent manner. The worst accusation that can be laid against instrumentalists is that they have violated common linguistic usage
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