David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 36 (1):11-18 (1985)
constructive empiricism asserts that it is not for science to reach a verdict on whether a theory is true or false, if the theory is about unobservable entities; science's only interest here, says Van Fraassen, is to discover whether the theory is ‘empirically adequate’. However, if a theory is soley about observables, empirical adequacy and truth are said to ‘coincide’, here discovering the theory's truth value is an appropriate scientific goal. Constructive empiricism thus rests an epistemological thesis on a semantical distinction. This paper critically examines the notion of aboutness and its epistemological significance. * I am grateful to members of my philosophy of science seminar during Spring, 1983 for useful discussion and to the two anonymous referees of this journal for providing helpful suggestions. I also thank the University of Wisconsin, Madison Graduate School for support in the form of a Romnes Faculty Fellowship.
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Citations of this work BETA
James Ladyman, Otávio Bueno, Mauricio Suárez & Bas van Fraassen (2011). Scientific Representation: A Long Journey From Pragmatics to Pragmatics. [REVIEW] Metascience 20 (3):417-442.
F. A. Muller & B. C. van Fraassen (2008). How to Talk About Unobservables. Analysis 68 (299):197–205.
Malcolm Forster (1988). Unification, Explanation, and the Composition of Causes in Newtonian Mechanics. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 19 (1):55-101.
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