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Bas C. van Fraassen [109]Bas C. van Fraassen [3]
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Profile: Bas C. van Fraassen (San Francisco State University)
  1. Bas C. van Fraassen, Against Transcendental Empiricism.
    What is empiricism? There can be no authoritative answer to any such question. A historian of philosophy can at best try to call what is common to philosophers who either identified themselves, or have traditionally been identified, as empiricists. But what has set those philosophers apart from others, and especially from those whom they criticized, may not be captured in common views or doctrines. The historian may, in trying to fix the label, rely tacitly on a view of what philosophical (...)
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  2. Bas C. van Fraassen, From Vicious Circle to Infinite Regress, and Back Again.
    The demise of foundationalism in epistemology was complete by the time of the Second World War: knowledge and rational opinion do not rest on absolutely secure, self-authenticating foundations, neither in experience nor elsewhere. This realization came to philosophers in large measure at the hands of that same detested logical positivism so often been depicted as foundationalism's last gasp. (Cf. Reichenbach (1938), Ch. 3; in a larger historical perspective, the demise may possibly be dated much earlier.) I will not argue for (...)
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  3. Bas C. van Fraassen, The World of Empiricism.
    Bas C. van Fraassen                          Princeton University       My topics today are the relation between science and myth, and the possibility of empiricism as an approach to life as well as to science. But philosophy is a thoroughly historical enterprise, a dialogue that continues in the present but is always almost entirely (...)
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  4. Isabelle F. Peschard & Bas C. van Fraassen (forthcoming). Making the Abstract Concrete: The Role of Norms and Values in Experimental Modeling. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A.
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  5. Bas C. Van Fraassen (forthcoming). The World We Speak of, and the Language We Live In. Philosophy and Culture: Proceedings of the Xviith World Congress of Philosophy.
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  6. Bas C. Van Fraassen (2014). One or Two Gentle Remarks About Hans Halvorson's Critique of the Semantic View. Philosophy of Science 81 (2):276-283,.
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  7. Bas C. van Fraassen (2013). Scientific Realism and the Empiricist Challenge: An Introduction to Ernan McMullin's Aquinas Lecture. Zygon 48 (1):131-142.
    In The Inference That Makes Science, Ernan McMullin recounts the clear historical progress he saw toward a vision of the sciences as conclusions reached rationally on the basis of empirical evidence. Distinctive of this vision was his view of science as driven by a specific form of inference, retroduction. To understand this properly, we need to disentangle the description of retroductive inference from the claims made on its behalf. To end I will suggest that the real rival to McMullin's vision (...)
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  8. Bas C. van Fraassen (2012). Modeling and Measurement: The Criterion of Empirical Grounding. Philosophy of Science 79 (5):773-784.
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  9. Bas C. Van Fraassen (2011). Logic and the Self: After Certain Crises in Western Thought. Diogenes 58 (4):21-29.
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  10. Bas C. van Fraassen (2011). On Stance and Rationality. Synthese 178 (1):155-169.
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  11. Bas C. Van Fraassen (2011). Thomason's Paradox for Belief, and Two Consequence Relations. Journal of Philosophical Logic 40 (1):15-32.
    Thomason (1979/2010)’s argument against competence psychologism in semantics envisages a representation of a subject’s competence as follows: he understands his own language in the sense that he can identify the semantic content of each of its sentences, which requires that the relation between expression and content be recursive. Then if the scientist constructs a theory that is meant to represent the body of the subject’s beliefs, construed as assent to the content of the pertinent sentences, and that theory satisfies certain (...)
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  12. Bas C. van Fraassen (2011). What Was Perrin's Real Achievement? In Gregory J. Morgan (ed.), Philosophy of Science Matters: The Philosophy of Peter Achinstein. Oxford University Press.
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  13. Bas C. van Fraassen (2010). Belief and the Will. In Antony Eagle (ed.), Philosophy of Probability: Contemporary Readings. Routledge. 235-256.
     
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  14. Bas C. van Fraassen (2010). Indifference : The Symmetries of Probability. In Antony Eagle (ed.), Philosophy of Probability: Contemporary Readings. Routledge.
     
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  15. Bas C. van Fraassen (2010). La Logique Et le Soi : Les Suites de Certaines Crises de la Pensée Occidentale. Diogène 232 (4):28.
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  16. Bas C. van Fraassen (2010). Precis of Scientific Representation: Paradoxes of Perspective. Philosophical Studies 150 (3):425 - 428.
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  17. Bas C. van Fraassen (2010). Relational Quantum Mechanics: Rovelli's World. Discusiones Filosóficas 11 (17):13-51.
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  18. Bas C. van Fraassen (2010). Reply to Belot, Elgin, and Horsten. Philosophical Studies 150 (3):461 - 472.
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  19. Bas C. van Fraassen (2010). Reply to Contessa, Ghins, and Healey. Analysis 70 (3):547-556.
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  20. Bas C. Van Fraassen (2010). Rovelli's World. Foundations of Physics 40 (4):390-417.
    Carlo Rovelli’s inspiring “Relational Quantum Mechanics” serves several aims at once: it provides a new vision of what the world of quantum mechanics is like, and it offers a program to derive the theory’s formalism from a set of simple postulates pertaining to information processing. I propose here to concentrate entirely on the former, to explore the world of quantum mechanics as Rovelli depicts it. It is a fascinating world in part because of Rovelli’s reliance on the information-theory approach to (...)
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  21. Bas C. van Fraassen (2009). Objectivity, Invariance, and Convention: Symmetry in Physical Science. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 40 (1):84-87.
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  22. Bas C. van Fraassen (2009). The Perils of Perrin, in the Hands of Philosophers. Philosophical Studies 143 (1):5 - 24.
    The story of how Perrin’s experimental work established the reality of atoms and molecules has been a staple in (realist) philosophy of science writings (Wesley Salmon, Clark Glymour, Peter Achinstein, Penelope Maddy, …). I’ll argue that how this story is told distorts both what the work was and its significance, and draw morals for the understanding of how theories can be or fail to be empirically grounded.
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  23. Bas C. van Fraassen (2008). Philosophical Perspectives on Infinity—Graham Oppy. International Philosophical Quarterly 48 (2):257-258.
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  24. Bas C. Van Fraassen (2008). Scientific Representation: Paradoxes of Perspective. Oxford University Press.
  25. Bas C. van Fraassen & Isabelle Peschard (2008). Identity Over Time: Objectively, Subjectively. Philosophical Quarterly 58 (230):15-35.
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  26. Bas C. van Fraassen (2007). From a View of Science to a New Empiricism. In Bradley John Monton (ed.), Images of Empiricism: Essays on Science and Stances, with a Reply From Bas C. Van Fraassen. Oxford University Press.
     
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  27. Bas C. van Fraassen (2007). Scientific Structuralism: Structuralism(s) About Science: Some Common Problems. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 81 (1):45–61.
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  28. Laura Ruetsche, Chris Smeenk, Branden Fitelson, Patrick Maher, Martin Thomson‐Jones, Bas C. van Fraassen, Steven French, Juha Saatsi, Stathis Psillos & Katherine Brading (2006). 10. Can Philosophy Offer Help in Resolving Contemporary Biological Controversies? In Borchert (ed.), Philosophy of Science. Macmillan.
     
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  29. Laura Ruetsche, Chris Smeenk, Branden Fitelson, Patrick Maher, Martin Thomson‐Jones, Bas C. van Fraassen, Steven French, Juha Saatsi, Stathis Psillos & Katherine Brading (2006). 1. Preface Preface (Pp. I-Ii). Philosophy of Science 73 (5).
     
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  30. Bas C. van Fraassen (2006). One Hundred and Fifty Years of Philosophy. Topoi 25 (1-2):123-127.
    Looking back from 2049 over one-hundred and fifty years of philosophy, a student's essay reveals what became of rival strands in Western philosophy – with a sidelong glance at the special Topoi issue on the theme “Philosophy: What is to be Done?” that was published almost half a century earlier.
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  31. Bas C. van Fraassen (2006). Structure: Its Shadow and Substance. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (2):275-307.
    Structural realism as developed by John Worrall and others can claim philosophical roots as far back as the late 19th century, though the discussion at that time does not unambiguously favor the contemporary form, or even its realism. After a critical examination of some aspects of the historical background some severe critical challenges to both Worrall's and Ladyman's versions are highlighted, and an alternative empiricist structuralism proposed. Support for this empiricist version is provided in part by the different way in (...)
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  32. Bas C. Van Fraassen (2006). Structure: Its Substance and Shadow. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57:275.
     
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  33. Bas C. Van Fraassen (2006). Vague Expectation Value Loss. Philosophical Studies 127 (3):483 - 491.
    Vague subjective probability may be modeled by means of a set of probability functions, so that the represented opinion has only a lower and upper bound. The standard rule of conditionalization can be straightforwardly adapted to this. But this combination has difficulties which, though well known in the technical literature, have not been given sufficient attention in probabilist or Bayesian epistemology. Specifically, updating on apparently irrelevant bits of news can be destructive of one’s explicitly prior expectations. Stability of vague subjective (...)
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  34. Bas C. van Fraassen (2006). Representation: The Problem for Structuralism. Philosophy of Science 73 (5):536-547.
    What does it mean to embed the phenomena in an abstract structure? Or to represent them by doing so? The semantic view of theories runs into a severe problem if these notions are construed either naively, in a metaphysical way, or too closely on the pattern of the earlier syntactic view. Constructive empiricism and structural realism will then share those difficulties. The problem will be posed as in Reichenbach's The Theory of Relativity and A Priori Knowledge, and realist reactions will (...)
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  35. Bas C. van Fraassen (2005). Conditionalizing on Violated Bell's Inequalities. Analysis 65 (285):27–32.
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  36. Bas C. van Fraassen (2005). The Day of the Dolphins: Puzzling Over Epistemic Partnership. In John Woods, Kent A. Peacock & A. D. Irvine (eds.), Mistakes of Reason: Essays in Honour of John Woods. University of Toronto Press.
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  37. Bas C. van Fraassen (2005). Van Fraassen's Contribution to Review Symposium-Wouldn't It Be Lovely: Explanation and Scientific Realism. Metascience 14:344-352.
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  38. Bas C. van Fraassen (2004). First Page Preview. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 18 (1).
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  39. Bas C. Van Fraassen (2004). Précis of the Empirical Stance. Philosophical Studies 121 (2):127-132.
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  40. Bas C. van Fraassen (2004). Replies to Discussion on the Empirical Stance. Philosophical Studies 121 (2).
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  41. Bas C. Van Fraassen (2004). Replies to Discussion on the Empirical. Philosophical Studies 121 (2):171-192.
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  42. Bas C. van Fraassen (2004). Science as Representation: Flouting the Criteria. Philosophy of Science 71 (5):794-804.
    Criteria of adequacy for scientific representation of the phenomena pertain to accuracy and truth. But that representation is selective and may require distortion even in the selected parameters; this point is intimately connected with the fact that representation is intentional, and its adequacy relative to its particular purpose. Since observation and measurement are perspectival and the appearances to be saved are perspectival measurement outcomes, the question whether this “saving” is an explanatory relation provides a new focus for the realist/antirealist debate. (...)
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  43. Bas C. van Fraassen (2004). Science as Representation: Flouting the Criteria. Philosophy of Science 71 (5):794-804.
    Criteria of adequacy for scientific representation of the phenomena pertain to accuracy and truth. But that representation is selective and may require distortion even in the selected parameters; this point is intimately connected with the fact that representation is intentional, and its adequacy relative to its particular purpose. Since observation and measurement are perspectival and the appearances to be saved are perspectival measurement outcomes, the question whether this "saving" is an explanatory relation provides a new focus for the realist/antirealist debate. (...)
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  44. Bradley Monton & Bas C. van Fraassen (2003). Constructive Empiricism and Modal Nominalism. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 54 (3):405-422.
    James Ladyman has argued that constructive empiricism entails modal realism, and that this renders constructive empiricism untenable. We maintain that constructive empiricism is compatible with modal nominalism. Although the central term ‘observable’ has been analyzed in terms of counterfactuals, and in general counterfactuals do not have objective truth conditions, the property of being observable is not a modal property, and hence there are objective, non-modal facts about what is observable. Both modal nominalism and constructive empiricism require clarification in the face (...)
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  45. Bas C. van Fraassen (2003). On McMullin's Appreciation of Realism Concerning the Sciences. Philosophy of Science 70 (3):479-492.
    Constructive empiricism is indeed set squarely within a common sense realism that was foreign to much of the empiricist tradition. But I do not see this common sense realism, which I take myself to share with many scientific realists, as harboring or leading to scientific realism. That is in part because of the way I separate the opposition between empiricist and realist understanding of science from other issues that divide us in epistemology. This discussion brought to light our quite different (...)
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  46. Bas C. van Fraassen (2003). On McMullin's Appreciation of Realism Concerning the Sciences. Philosophy of Science 70 (3):479-492.
    Constructive empiricism is indeed set squarely within a common sense realism that was foreign to much of the empiricist tradition. But I do not see this common sense realism, which I take myself to share with many scientific realists, as harboring or leading to scientific realism. That is in part because of the way I separate the opposition between empiricist and realist understanding of science from other issues that divide us in epistemology. This discussion brought to light our quite different (...)
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  47. Bas C. van Fraassen (2002). The Empirical Stance. Yale Up.
    Bas C. van Fraassen, one of the world's foremost contributors to philosophical logic and the philosophy of science, here undertakes a fresh consideration of these questions and offers a program for renewal of the empiricist tradition.
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  48. Bas C. van Fraassen (2001). Constructive Empiricism Now. Philosophical Studies 106 (1-2):151 - 170.
    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 formulate that view, namely the observable/unobservable and acceptance/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 (...)
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  49. Bas C. van Fraassen (2000). La Paradoja de Putnam: El Realismo Metafísico Renovado y Eludido. A Parte Rei: Revista de Filosofía 9:1.
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