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  1. added 2020-05-11
    Scientific Realism: How Science Tracks Truth.Stathis Psillos - 1999 - Routledge.
    Scientific Realism is the optimistic view that modern science is on the right track: that the world really is the way our best scientific theories describe it to be. In his book, Stathis Psillos gives us a detailed and comprehensive study, which restores the intuitive plausibility of scientific realism. We see that throughout the twentieth century, scientific realism has been challenged by philosophical positions from all angles: from reductive empiricism, to instrumentalism and modern skeptical empiricism. Scientific Realism explains that the (...)
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  2. added 2020-05-11
    What is Structural Empiricism? Scientific Change in an Empiricist Setting.Otávio Bueno - 1999 - Erkenntnis 50 (1):55-81.
    In this paper a constructive empiricist account of scientific change is put forward. Based on da Costa's and French's partial structures approach, two notions of empirical adequacy are initially advanced (with particular emphasis on the introduction of degrees of empirical adequacy). Using these notions, it is shown how both the informativeness and the empirical adequacy requirements of an empiricist theory of scientific change can then be met. Finally, some philosophical consequences with regard to the role of structures in this context (...)
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  3. added 2020-04-28
    Replies to Healey’s Comments Regarding van Fraassen’s Positions.Seungbae Park - 2020 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 9 (1):38-47.
    Healey (2019a) makes four comments on my (Park, 2019a) objections to van Fraassen’s positions. The four comments concern the issues of whether ‘disbelief’ is appropriate or inappropriate to characterize van Fraassen’s position, what the relationship between a theory and models is for van Fraassen, whether he believes or not that a theory is empirically adequate, and whether destructive empiricism is tenable or not. I reply to those comments in this paper.
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  4. added 2020-03-13
    Still Resisting: Replies to My Critics: K. Brad Wray: Resisting Scientific Realism, Cambridge University Press, 2018, 224 Pp., $105 HB. [REVIEW]K. Brad Wray - 2020 - Metascience 29 (1):33-40.
  5. added 2020-03-03
    Concluding Unscientific Image.Hans Halvorson - 2020 - Metascience:1-9.
    40-year anniversary review of van Fraassen's Scientific Image.
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  6. added 2020-02-15
    How to Save van Fraassen’s Own Antirealism: A Modest Proposal.Alessio Gava - 2020 - Perspectiva Filosófica 45 (1):1-21.
    Bas van Fraassen’s antirealist view of science and its aim, constructive empiricism, notoriously rests upon a distinction between observable and unobservable entities. In order to back his empiricist stance, the Dutch philosopher put forward his own characterization of observability. Nonetheless, he acknowledges that the point of constructive empiricism is not lost if the line is drawn in a somewhat different way from how he draws it. This means that other characterizations of observability can support this antirealist stance, provided they allow (...)
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  7. added 2020-01-24
    Still resisting: replies to my critics.K. Brad Wray - forthcoming - Metascience:1-8.
    This is a reply piece to a series of book symposium contributions to my book, Resisting Scientific Realism. The contributions were by Steven French, Peter Vickers, Stathis Psillos, and Kyle Stanford.
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  8. added 2019-12-20
    Constructive Empiricism in a Social World: Reply to Richard Healey.Seungbae Park - 2019 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective.
    Constructive empiricism implies that if van Fraassen does not believe that scientific theories and his positive philosophical theories, including his contextual theory of explanation, are empirically adequate, he cannot accept them, and hence he cannot use them for scientific and philosophical purposes. Moreover, his epistemic colleagues, who embrace epistemic reciprocalism, would not believe that his positive philosophical theories are empirically adequate. This epistemic disadvantage comes with practical disadvantages in a social world.
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  9. added 2019-11-16
    Kusch and van Fraassen on Microscopic Experience.Alessio Gava - 2019 - Revista Latinoamericana de Filosofia 45 (1):7-31.
    Martin Kusch has recently defended Bas van Fraassen’s controversial view on microscopes, according to which these devices are not ‘windows on an invisible world’, but rather ‘image generators’. The two authors also claim that, since in a microscopic detection it is not possible to empirically investigate the geometrical relations between all the elements involved, one is entitled to maintain an agnostic stance about the reality of the entity allegedly represented by the produced image. In this paper I argue that, contrary (...)
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  10. added 2019-07-31
    Van Fraassen, a inferência da melhor explicação e a Matrix realista.Alessio Gava - 2019 - Problemata 10 (1):267-283.
    In a recent work published in this journal, “Van Fraassen e a inferência da melhor explicação” (2016), Minikoski and Rodrigues da Silva identify four critical lines proposed by Bas van Fraassen against the form of abductive reasoning known as ‘inference to the best explanation’ (IBE). The first one, put forward by the Dutch philosopher in his seminal book The Scientific Image (1980), concerns the distinction between observable and unobservable entities. Minikoski and Rodrigues da Silva consider that the distinction is of (...)
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  11. added 2019-07-30
    A Modest Refutation of Manifestationalism.Alessio Gava - 2019 - Universitas Philosophica 36 (73):259-287.
    In their recent “A modest defense of manifestationalism” (2015), Asay and Bordner defend this position from a quite famous criticism put forward by Rosen (1994), according to which while manifestationalism can be seen as more compatible with the letter of empiricism than other popular stances, such as constructive empiricism, it fails nonetheless to make sense of science. The two authors reckon that Rosen’s argument is actually flawed. In their view, manifestationalism could in fact represent a legitimate thesis about the nature (...)
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  12. added 2019-07-17
    Astroparticle Physics, a Constructive Empiricist Account.Alessio Gava - 2019 - Science and Philosophy 7 (1):21-40.
    Astroparticle physics is an interdisciplinary field embracing astronomy, astrophysics and particle physics. In a recent paper on this topic, Brigitte Falkenburg defended that only scientific realism can make sense of it and that realist beliefs constitute an indispensable methodological principle of research in this discipline. The aim of this work is to show that there exists an anti-realist alternative to this account, along the lines of what Bas van Fraassen showed in his famous book The Scientific Image. Problems and results (...)
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  13. added 2019-06-06
    Bas van Fraassen on Religion and Knowledge: Is There a Third Way Beyond Foundationalist Illusion and Bridled Irrationality?Lydia Jaeger - 2006 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 80 (4):581-602.
    In his recent book, The Empirical Stance, Bas van Fraassen elaborates on earlier suggestions of a religious view that has striking parallels withhis constructive empiricism. A particularly salient feature consists in the way in which he keeps a critical distance from theoretical formulations both in scienceand religion, thus preferring a mystical approach to religious experience. As an alternative, I suggest a view based on mediation by the word, both in the structureof reality and the encounter between persons. Without falling prey (...)
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  14. added 2019-06-06
    The Semantic View, Empirical Adequacy, and Application.Mauricio Suárez - 2005 - Critica 37 (109):29-63.
    It is widely accepted in contemporary philosophy of science that the domain of application of a theory is typically larger than its explanatory covering power: theories can be applied to phenomena that they do not explain. I argue for an analogous thesis regarding the notion of empirical adequacy. A theory's domain of application is typically larger than its domain of empirical adequacy: theories are often applied to phenomena from which they receive no empirical confirmation. \\\ Existe en la filosofía de (...)
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  15. added 2019-06-06
    Empirical Adequacy: A Partial Structures Approach.Otávio Bueno - 1997 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 28 (4):585-610.
    Based on da Costa's and French's notions of partial structures and pragmatic truth, this paper examines two possible characterizations of the concept of empirical adequacy, one depending on the notion of partial isomorphism, the other on the hierarchy of partial models of phenomena, and both compatible with an empiricist view. These formulations can then be employed to illuminate certain aspects of scientific practice.An empirical theory must single out a specific part of the world, establish reference to that part, and say—by (...)
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  16. added 2019-06-06
    The Two Antirealisms of Bas van Fraassen.Andre Kukla - 1995 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 26 (3):431-454.
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  17. added 2019-06-06
    What Does Van Fraassen’s Critique of Scientific Realism Show?John O’Leary-Hawthorne - 1994 - The Monist 77 (1):128-145.
    Those who call themselves ‘scientific realists’ have been concerned to defend one or more of the following cluster of theses: The scientific enterprise’s primary goal is to discover a theory that correctly describes a mind-independent reality. Scientists believe that many of the central claims of current scientific theories correctly describe a mind-independent reality. Moreover, in forming such beliefs, they do not take themselves to be going beyond the bounds of science. If scientific activity continues, science will eventually succeed in providing (...)
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  18. added 2019-06-06
    Discovery as Seeing: Lessons From Radical Empiricism and Meditative Practice.Kaisa Puhakka - 1992 - Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 12 (1):48-58.
    Suggests that genuine discovery in the context of qualitative research implies a distance between what is seen in the phenomenological sense and what has already been described. The ingenuity of William James's descriptions of hitherto undescribed aspects of everyday experience are rooted in an openness to seeing that characterizes his "radical empiricism." James was a pathfinder and explorer who did introspection and discovered the phenomena of transitive consciousness. The concepts of seeing as the mode of discovery, problematics of the intentionality (...)
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  19. added 2019-06-06
    El Concepto de teoría empírica según van Fraassen.Ana Rosa Pérez Ransanz - 1985 - Critica 17 (51):3-19.
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  20. added 2019-06-06
    The Scientific Image. [REVIEW]J. B. R. - 1982 - Review of Metaphysics 35 (3):636-638.
    The doctrine of scientific realism has once again come into the center of attention for many philosophers of science, although of course the approaches, arguments, and emphases have somewhat changed. This book is an excellent entree to the current debates on this topic, as seen by van Fraassen who is probably the most direct and severe opponent of scientific realism. What is at stake is nothing less than the ultimate goal of science and the significance of its theories.
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  21. added 2019-06-06
    May Philosophy of Science Preach Empiricism and Practice Apriorism?1.A. Wittenberg - 1962 - Dialectica 16 (1):15-24.
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  22. added 2019-06-05
    Essay Review: Scientific Representation and Empiricist Structuralism*Bas C. Van Fraassen, Scientific Representation: Paradoxes of Perspective. Oxford: Oxford University Press , 408 Pp., $50.00. [REVIEW]Ronald Giere - 2009 - Philosophy of Science 76 (1):101-111.
  23. added 2019-06-05
    Realismo Cient’Ifico Empirista.Sílvio Seno Chibeni - 1997 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 1 (2):255--270.
    In his influential criticism of scientific realism, Bas van Fraassen assumes that this doctrine is incompatible with empiricism, according to which the sole ultimate basis of knowledge is experience. This claim has been generally accepted in the contemporary literature in philosophy of science. Thus, the very distinction between scientific realism and empiricism is often forgotten, the term 'empiricism' being now widely used to designate a range of anti-realist positions, such as van Fraassen's "construct ive empiricism". In this paper it is (...)
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  24. added 2019-05-06
    Why There Are No Ready-Made Phenomena: What Philosophers of Science Should Learn From Kant: Michela Massimi.Michela Massimi - 2008 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 63:1-35.
    The debate on scientific realism has raged among philosophers of science for decades. The scientific realist's claim that science aims to give us a literally true description of the way things are, has come under severe scrutiny and attack by Bas van Fraassen's constructive empiricism. All science aims at is to save the observable phenomena, according to van Fraassen. Scientific realists have faced since a main sceptical challenge: the burden is on them to prove that the entities postulated by our (...)
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  25. added 2019-03-07
    Resisting Scientific Realism.K. Brad Wray - 2018 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    In this book K. Brad Wray provides a comprehensive survey of the arguments against scientific realism. In addition to presenting logical considerations that undermine the realists' inferences to the likely truth or approximate truth of our theories, he provides a thorough assessment of the evidence from the history of science. He also examines grounds for a defence of anti-realism, including an anti-realist explanation for the success of our current theories, an account of why false theories can be empirically successful, and (...)
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  26. added 2019-03-01
    Generalizing Empirical Adequacy II: Partial Structures.Sebastian Lutz - forthcoming - Synthese:1-30.
    I show that extant attempts to capture and generalize empirical adequacy in terms of partial structures fail. Indeed, the motivations for the generalizations in the partial structures approach are better met by the generalizations via approximation sets developed in “Generalizing Empirical Adequacy I”. Approximation sets also generalize partial structures.
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  27. added 2019-02-01
    Bastiaan C. Van Fraassen - Scientific Representation: Paradoxes of Perspective.Bradley Monton - 2018 - Humana Mente 4 (13).
    This is a review of van Fraassen's new book, _Scientific Representation_.
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  28. added 2019-01-16
    O empirismo construtivo e o argumento de Musgrave: um problema ou um pseudoproblema?Alessio Gava - 2018 - Trans/Form/Ação 41 (4):177-204.
    In 1985, Alan Musgrave raised a serious objection against the possibility that a constructive empiricist could coherently draw the distinction between observables and unobservables. In his brief response in the same year, Bas van Fraassen claimed that Musgrave’s argument only works within the so-called ‘syntactic view’ of theories, while it loses its force in the context of the ‘semantic view’. But this response was not adequate, or so claimed F. A. Muller, who published two articles in order to extend the (...)
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  29. added 2018-12-24
    A Defense of the Observational/Theoretical Distinction.Bas van Fraassen - 1999 - In Robert Klee (ed.), Scientific Inquiry: Readings in the Philosophy of Science. Oxford University Press.
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  30. added 2018-12-24
    Van Fraassen on Explanation.Philip Kitcher & Wesley Salmon - 1987 - Journal of Philosophy 84 (6):315.
  31. added 2018-12-17
    É possível ver imagens? (Ou do porquê van Fraassen deveria rever a sua abordagem em relação a elas).Alessio Gava - 2018 - Griot 18 (2):143-160.
    In his last book (2008), Bas van Fraassen, the originator of constructive empiricism, put forward a table containing a categorization of images. His aim, however, was to discuss the reality of what they represent and not addressing the issue of images per se. One of the consequences is that it remained an open question what ‘public hallucinations’ - reflections in the water, rainbows and the like - are. In this paper it will be defended that only images in the relevant (...)
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  32. added 2018-06-07
    A Defense of the Suppositionalist View of Hypothetical Entities.Jonathon Daniel Hricko - 2013 - Dissertation,
    When scientists put forward hypotheses, they sometimes involve new kinds of entities, which we can call 'hypothetical entities.' Hypothetical entities are pervasive in the sciences, and some examples include caloric and, up until very recently, the Higgs boson. Some hypothetical entities are discovered, as was the case with the Higgs boson, while scientists conclude that others, like caloric, do not exist. Hypothetical entities pose a number of important challenges for the philosophy of science, and my goal is to develop and (...)
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  33. added 2018-06-05
    The Debate over Scientific Realism.Chrysovalantis 5. Stergiou - 2013 - In Aristidis Baltas & Kostas Stergiopoulos (eds.), Philosophy and Sciences in Twentieth Century. Crete University Press. pp. 467-498.
  34. added 2018-05-22
    Constructive Empiricism and Modal Nominalism.Monton Bradley & Fraassen Bas C. Van - 2003 - 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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  35. added 2018-04-03
    The “Positive Argument” for Constructive Empiricism and Inference to the Best Explanation.Moti Mizrahi - 2018 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 49 (3):461–466.
    In this paper, I argue that the “positive argument” for Constructive Empiricism (CE), according to which CE “makes better sense of science, and of scientific activity, than realism does” (van Fraassen 1980, 73), is an Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE). But constructive empiricists are critical of IBE, and thus they have to be critical of their own “positive argument” for CE. If my argument is sound, then constructive empiricists are in the awkward position of having to reject their own (...)
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  36. added 2018-02-18
    Empiricism, Metaphysics, and Voluntarism.Matthias Steup - 2011 - Synthese 178 (1):19-26.
    This paper makes three points: First, empiricism as a stance is problematic unless criteria for evaluating the stance are provided. Second, Van Fraassen conceives of the empiricist stance as receiving its content, at least in part, from the rejection of metaphysics. But the rejection of metaphysics seems to presuppose for its justification the very empiricist doctrine Van Fraassen intends to replace with the empiricist stance. Third, while I agree with Van Fraassen’s endorsement of voluntarism, I raise doubts about the possibility (...)
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  37. added 2018-02-18
    Ethics.Baruch Spinoza - 1677 - Hackett.
    The Oxford Philosophical Texts series consists of authoritative teaching editions of canonical texts in the history of philosophy from the ancient world down to modern times. Each volume provides a clear, well laid out text together with a comprehensive introduction by a leading specialist, giving the student detailed critical guidance on the intellectual context of the work and the structure and philosophical important of the main arguments and explain unfamiliar references and terminology, and a full bibliography and index are also (...)
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  38. added 2018-02-17
    Stance and Rationality: A Perspective.Darrell Patrick Rowbottom & Otávio Bueno - 2011 - Synthese 178 (1):1-5.
    We offer an overview of some ways of examining the connections between stance and rationality, by surveying recent work on four central topics: the very idea of a stance, the relations between stances and voluntarism, the metaphysics and epistemology that emerge once stances are brought to center stage, and the role that emotions and phenomenology play in the empirical stance.
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  39. added 2018-02-17
    A Puzzle About Voluntarism About Rational Epistemic Stances.Anjan Chakravartty - 2011 - Synthese 178 (1):37-48.
    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 (...)
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  40. added 2018-02-17
    Empiricism, Stances, and the Problem of Voluntarism.Peter Baumann - 2011 - Synthese 178 (1):27-36.
    Voluntarism about beliefs is the view that persons can be free to choose their beliefs for non-epistemic (truth-related) reasons (cf. Williams 1973). One problem for belief voluntarism is that it can lead to Moore-paradoxality. The person might believe that -/- a.) there are also good epistemic reasons for her belief, or that b.) there are no epistemic reasons one way or the other, or that c.) there are good epistemic reasons against her belief. -/- If the person is aware of (...)
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  41. added 2018-02-17
    The Scientistic Stance: The Empirical and Materialist Stances Reconciled.James Ladyman - 2011 - Synthese 178 (1):87-98.
    van Fraassen (The empirical stance, 2002) contrasts the empirical stance with the materialist stance. The way he describes them makes both of them attractive, and while opposed they have something in common for both stances are scientific approaches to philosophy. The difference between them reflects their differing conceptions of science itself. Empiricists emphasise fallibilism, verifiability and falsifiability, and also to some extent scepticism and tolerance of novel hypotheses. Materialists regard the theoretical picture of the world as matter in motion as (...)
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  42. added 2018-02-17
    Scientific Representation: Paradoxes of Perspective.Bas C. van Fraassen - 2008 - Oxford University Press UK.
  43. added 2018-02-17
    Stance Relativism: Empiricism Versus Metaphysics. [REVIEW]Anjan Chakravartty - 2004 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 35 (1):173-184.
    In The empirical stance, Bas van Fraassen argues for a reconceptualization of empiricism, and a rejection of its traditional rival, speculative metaphysics, as part of a larger and provocative study in epistemology. Central to his account is the notion of voluntarism in epistemology, and a concomitant understanding of the nature of rationality. In this paper I give a critical assessment of these ideas, with the ultimate goal of clarifying the nature of debate between metaphysicians and empiricists, and more specifically, between (...)
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  44. added 2018-02-17
    Bad Lots, Good Explanations.Valeriano Iranzo - 2001 - Critica 33 (98):71-96.
    Van Fraassen's argument from the "bad lot" challenges realist interpretations of inference to the best explanation. In this paper I begin by discussing the replies suggested by S. Psillos and P. Lipton. I do not find them convincing. However, I think that van Fraassen's argument is flawed. First of all, it is a non sequitur. Secondly, I think that the real target for the scientific realist is the underlying assumption that epistemic justification results from a comparative assessment among rival explanations. (...)
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  45. added 2018-01-24
    How Theoretical Physics Makes Progress: Nicholas Maxwell: Understanding Scientific Progress: Aim-Oriented Empiricism. St. Paul, MN: Paragon House, 2017, 232 Pp, $24.95PB. [REVIEW]Moti Mizrahi - 2018 - Metascience 27 (2):203-207.
  46. added 2017-12-29
    Por uma reformulação do empirismo construtivo a partir de uma reavaliação do conceito de observabilidade.Alessio Gava - 2015 - Dissertation, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
    The concept of observability is of key importance for a consistent defense of Constructive Empiricism. This anti-realist position, originally presented in 1980 by Bas van Fraassen in his book The Scientific Image, crucially depends on the observable/unobservable dichotomy. Nevertheless, the question of what it means to observe has been faced in an unsatisfactory and inadequate manner by van Fraassen and this represents an important lacuna in his philosophical position. The aim of this work is to propose a characterization of the (...)
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  47. added 2017-12-18
    Why van Fraassen Should Amend His Position on Instrument-Mediated Detections.Alessio Gava - 2016 - Analysis and Metaphysics 15:55–76.
    Constructive empiricism is a prominent anti-realist position whose aim is to make sense of science. As is well known, it also crucially depends on the distinction between what is observable and what scientific theories postulate but is unobservable to us. Accordingly, adopting an adequate notion of observability is in order, on pain of failing to achieve the goal of grasping science and its aim. Bas van Fraassen, the originator of constructive empiricism, identifies observation with unaided (at least in principle) human (...)
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  48. added 2017-12-18
    Consequências para o empirismo construtivo da adoção de um padrão internalista na caracterização do processo de observação.Alessio Gava - 2015 - In Fátima R. Évora Marcelo Carvalho Jr (ed.), Filosofia da Ciência e da Natureza. Coleção XVI Encontro ANPOF. São Paulo, Brazil: ANPOF. pp. 239-250.
    Discutindo acerca das centenas de detecções de planetas extrassolares, que supostamente aconteceram desde 1989 e que ele considera (incorretamente) como instâncias de observações, Peter Kosso disse, justamente, que segundo os parâmetros de Bas van Fraassen esses objetos celestes seriam observáveis. Ora, tais astros poderiam sem dúvida ser observados diretamente (sem a necessidade de instrumentos), nas condições apropriadas. Mas, acrescenta Kosso, “esse tipo de epistemologia externalista, que permite que a justificação se baseie em informação que não temos a disposição (nós não (...)
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  49. added 2017-12-16
    A não-ciência de humanóides e golfinhos: van Fraassen e o conceito de comunidade epistêmica.Alessio Gava - 2017 - Griot 15 (1):291-300.
    The notion of epistemic community is crucial for the characterization of observability, a cornerstone for Bas van Fraassen’s constructive empiricism. As a matter of fact, observable is, to him, a short for observable-by-us. In this work, it will be shown that the alleged rigidity of the author of The Scientific Image, apparently not very keen to admitting changes in the epistemic community (constituted – according to him – by the human race), is actually an assumption of modesty and good judgment; (...)
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  50. added 2017-12-16
    Uma reflexão sobre o objeto de uma percepção ‘bem sucedida’.Alessio Gava - 2017 - Aufklärung 4 (3):89-100.
    Observation and observability represent a crucial topic in the philosophy of science, as the huge production of papers and books on the subject attests. Philosophy of perception, on the other hand, is a field of study that took root effectively in the last decades. Even then, apparently, the main theories on observation have neglected the issue of determining which is the object of a successful perception. As a consequence, some theses that have recently been proposed are actually paradoxical, despite deriving (...)
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