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  1. added 2020-06-09
    Über Poppers Forderung nach Widerspruchlosigkeit.Luis Felipe Bartolo Alegre - 2019 - Felsefe Arkivi 51:31-36.
    Popper restricted his definition of falsifiability to consistent theories through what we may call his requirement of consistency. His main argument was that an inconsistent theory does not distinguish the sentences that corroborate it from those that contradict it, for all sentences follow from it. I propose to replace this requirement by the more basic requirement that the classes of potential corroborators and falsifiers of a theory do not overlap. This results not only in an unrestricted definition of falsifiability but (...)
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  2. 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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  3. added 2020-01-25
    On Falsifying Empirical Contradictions.Luis Felipe Bartolo Alegre - manuscript
    The possibility of testing contradictory statements about the factual world has been suggested but barely discussed in the relevant literature. Here I argue that if we assume that there are contradictory observation sentences, it would be logically impossible to falsify them. Accordingly, the extension of the dialetheist programme into empirical science would be non-advisable, for it would introduce logically unfalsifiable claims.
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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. added 2019-01-19
    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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  7. added 2019-01-19
    Somewhere Over The... What?Alessio Gava - 2016 - Filosofia Unisinos 17 (3):315-319.
    In order to defend his controversial claim that observation is unaided perception, Bas van Fraassen, the originator of constructive empiricism, suggested that, for all we know, the images produced by a microscope could be in a situation analogous to that of the rainbows, which are ‘images of nothing’. He added that reflections in the water, rainbows, and the like are ‘public hallucinations’, but it is not clear whether this constitutes an ontological category apart or an empty set. In this paper (...)
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  8. added 2019-01-19
    Qual ontologia para o empirismo construtivo?Alessio Gava - 2014 - Princípios: Revista de Filosofia 21 (35):413-427.
    Is there an ontological question relative to van Fraassen’s Constructive Empiricism? It seems so, despite this philosophical position, a reference for contemporary Empiricism, presenting itself as an epistemological thesis. It is, furthermore, a very up-to-date matter, as the Dutch philosopher has recently changed his mind about the possibility for us to observe common optical phenomena as the rainbow. This reveals the necessity for a discussion about the concept of phenomena as used by van Fraassen, as Foss stated more than twenty (...)
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  9. added 2019-01-17
    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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  10. 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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  11. added 2019-01-16
    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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  12. added 2019-01-16
    On the Definition of Observation as Justified True Perception.Alessio Gava - 2015 - Scientiae Studia 13 (1):123-141.
    The primacy of the act of observation, one of the hallmarks of empiricism, found new life in the centrality of the distinction, made in Bas van Fraassen's constructive empiricism, between observable and unobservable. As Elliott Sober have pointed out, however, it is not clear what van Fraassen understands by observing an object. Worse, the Dutch philosopher does not seem to consider that a clarification of this point is necessary. This, of course, represents an important lacuna in a position generally considered (...)
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  13. added 2019-01-16
    Do Constructive Empiricists See Paramecia Too?Alessio Gava - 2014 - Prolegomena 13:291-302.
    According to Bas van Fraassen, a postulated entity which can only be detected by means of some instrument should not be considered observable. In this paper I argue that (1) this is not correct; (2) someone can be a constructive empiricist, adhering to van Fraassen’s famous anti-realist position, even admitting that many entities only detectable with a microscope are observable. The case of the paramecium, a very well-known single-celled organism, is particularly instructive in this respect. I maintain that we actually (...)
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  14. added 2019-01-16
    A imagem reversa da observação.Alessio Gava - 2013 - Perspectiva Filosófica 1 (39):111-122.
    The problem of the justification of inductive inferences, also known as ‘Hume’s problem’, seems to have lost strength since the early 20th century, following several authors’ denial that induction is the method of science. Van Fraassen went beyond this denial and recently stated that induction does not exist. It is our aim to show that, in order to bring forward a coherent vision of science, in his reconstruction it is the observable (a crucial term for his Constructive Empiricism) that is (...)
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  15. 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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  16. added 2017-10-29
    Simplicity and Observability: When Are Particles Elementary?Kostas Gavroglu - 1989 - Synthese 79 (3):89 - 100.
    It is not possible to dismiss the atomistic paradigm because the proposed elementary particles are too many (and, hence, it is claimed, they do not provide a simple account of nature) or because it is not possible to observe quarks in an isolated manner. The developments in particle physics have brought about radical changes to our notions of simplicity and observability, and in this paper we elaborate on these changes. It is as a result of these changes that the present (...)
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  17. added 2014-03-26
    On the Joint Distribution of Observables.Beloslav Riečan - 2000 - Foundations of Physics 30 (10):1679-1686.
    A general algebraic system M is considered with two binary operations. The family of all measurable functions with values in the unit interval is a motivating example. A state is a morphism from M to the unit interval, an observable is a morphism from the family of Borel sets to M. A joint distribution of two observables is constructed. It is applied for the construction of the sum of observables and for a representation of conditional probability.
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  18. added 2014-03-23
    What's Wrong with These Observables?Asher Peres - 2003 - Foundations of Physics 33 (10):1543-1547.
    An imprecise measurement of a dynamical variable (such as a spin component) does not, in general, give the value of another dynamical variable (such as a spin component along a slightly different direction). The result of the measurement cannot be interpreted as the value of any observable that has a classical analogue.
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  19. added 2014-03-15
    Observables Have No Value: A No-Go Theorem for Position and Momentum Observables. [REVIEW]Alberto C. de la Torre - 2007 - Foundations of Physics 37 (8):1243-1252.
    The Bell–Kochen–Specker contradiction is presented using continuous observables in infinite dimensional Hilbert space. It is shown that the assumption of the existence of putative values for position and momentum observables for one single particle is incompatible with quantum mechanics.
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  20. added 2014-03-06
    On the Complementarity of the Quadrature Observables.Pekka Lahti & Juha-Pekka Pellonpää - 2010 - Foundations of Physics 40 (9-10):1419-1428.
    In this paper we investigate the coupling properties of pairs of quadrature observables, showing that, apart from the Weyl relation, they share the same coupling properties as the position-momentum pair. In particular, they are complementary. We determine the marginal observables of a covariant phase space observable with respect to an arbitrary rotated reference frame, and observe that these marginal observables are unsharp quadrature observables. The related distributions constitute the Radon transform of a phase space distribution of the covariant phase space (...)
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  21. added 2013-12-11
    Arex Andp Incompatible Observables?H. Reiter & W. Thirring - 1989 - Foundations of Physics 19 (8):1037-1039.
    Common eigenfunctions of nontrivial projectors of x and p are constructed.
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  22. added 2013-12-04
    What is an Observable?Marian Grabowski - 1989 - Foundations of Physics 19 (7):923-930.
    The concept of generalized observable in the scheme of Hilbert quantum mechanics is discussed. We give an example of a possible ambiguity of this notion. The role of interpretation and the strong connection with concrete experimental procedures in the discussion of generalized observables are stressed to explain the above ambiguity.
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  23. added 2013-11-27
    Observables on Hypergraphs.S. P. Gudder & G. T. Rüttimann - 1986 - Foundations of Physics 16 (8):773-790.
    Observables on hypergraphs are described by event-valued measures. We first distinguish between finitely additive observables and countably additive ones. We then study the spectrum, compatibility, and functions of observables. Next a relationship between observables and certain functionals on the set of measures M(H) of a hypergraph H is established. We characterize hypergraphs for which every linear functional on M(H) is determined by an observable. We define the concept of an “effect” and show that observables are related to effect-valued measures. Finally, (...)
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  24. added 2013-11-27
    On the Observables on Quantum Logics.S. Pulmannová - 1981 - Foundations of Physics 11 (1-2):127-136.
    Two postulates concerning observables on a quantum logic are formulated. By Postulate 1 compatibility of observables is defined by the strong topology on the set of observables. Postulate 2 requires that the range of the sum of observables ought to be contained in the smallestC-closed sublogic generated by their ranges. It is shown that the Hilbert space logicL(H) satisfies the two postulates. A theorem on the connection between joint distributions of types 1 and 2 on the logic satisfying Postulate 2 (...)
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  25. added 2012-02-26
    Observation and Induction.Theodore J. Everett - 2010 - Logos and Episteme 1 (2):303-324.
    This article offers a simple technical resolution to the problem of induction, which is to say that general facts are not always inferred from observations of particular facts, but are themselves sometimes defeasibly observed. The article suggests a holistic account of observation that allows for general statements in empirical theories to be interpreted as observation reports, in place of the common but arguably obsolete idea that observations are exclusively particular. Predictions and other particular statements about unobservable facts can then appear (...)
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  26. added 2012-01-09
    The Analytic Versus Representational Theory of Measurement: A Philosophy of Science Perspective.Zoltan Domotor & Vadim Batitsky - 2008 - Measurement Science Review 8 (6):129-146.
    In this paper we motivate and develop the analytic theory of measurement, in which autonomously specified algebras of quantities (together with the resources of mathematical analysis) are used as a unified mathematical framework for modeling (a) the time-dependent behavior of natural systems, (b) interactions between natural systems and measuring instruments, (c) error and uncertainty in measurement, and (d) the formal propositional language for describing and reasoning about measurement results. We also discuss how a celebrated theorem in analysis, known as Gelfand (...)
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  27. added 2012-01-09
    Species of Measurement Structures.Zoltan Domotor - 1972 - Theoria 38 (1-2):64-81.