David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Synthese 101 (2):187 - 221 (1994)
Constructive Empiricism, the view introduced in The Scientific Image, is a view of science, an answer to the question “what is science?” Arthur Fine’s and Paul Teller’s contributions to this symposium challenge especially two key ideas required to formu- late that view, namely the observable/unobservable and accept- ance/belief distinctions. I wish to thank them not only for their insightful critique but also for the support they include. For they illuminate and counter some misunderstandings of Constructive Empiricism along the way. That leaves me free to focus on those two main challenges. The three of us share a good deal of common history. So it is perhaps only remarkable, and not astonishing, that we now share a common leaning to Pragmatism in philosophy. Of us three I am clearly themost conservative in this respect, especially as pertaining to truth, reference, and belief.2 Arthur Fine showed very nicely how Constructive Empiricism could have been conceived under the canopy of Dewey’s Instrumentalism. Much of it could appear as a Corollary to that sort of Instrumentalism, I agree. But in fact Iwould not be happy to land in that general Pragmatist position
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