Authors
Gabriele Contessa
Carleton University
Abstract
In this paper, I argue that, contrary to the constructive empiricist’s position, observability is not an adequate criterion as a guide to ontological commitment in science. My argument has two parts. First, I argue that the constructive empiricist’s choice of observability as a criterion for ontological commitment is based on the assumption that belief in the existence of unobservable entities is unreasonable because belief in the existence of an entity can only be vindicated by its observation. Second, I argue that the kind of ontological commitment that is under consideration when accepting a scientific theory is commitment to what I call theoretical kinds and that observation can vindicate commitment to kinds only in exceptional cases.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1016/j.shpsa.2006.06.007
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 50,118
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

How the Laws of Physics Lie.Nancy Cartwright - 1983 - Oxford University Press.
Laws and Symmetry.Bas C. van Fraassen - 1989 - Oxford University Press.
The Meaning of 'Meaning'.Hilary Putnam - 1975 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 7:131-193.
Two Dogmas of Empiricism.Willard V. O. Quine - 1951 - Philosophical Review 60 (1):20–43.
The Scientific Image.Michael Friedman - 1982 - Journal of Philosophy 79 (5):274-283.

View all 27 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Constructive Empiricism: Normative or Descriptive?Moti Mizrahi - 2014 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 22 (4):604-616.
Somewhere Over The... What?Alessio Gava - 2016 - Filosofia Unisinos 17 (3):315-319.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Two Kinds of Ontological Commitment.Howard Peacock - 2011 - Philosophical Quarterly 61 (242):79-104.
What is Constructive Empiricism?Gideon Rosen - 1994 - Philosophical Studies 74 (2):143 - 178.
Constructive Empiricism and Modal Nominalism.Monton Bradley & Fraassen Bas C. Van - 2003 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 54 (3):405 - 422.
The Deep Black Sea: Observability and Modality Afloat.F. A. Muller - 2005 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (1):61-99.
Van Fraassen's Metaphysical Move.Adam Grobler - 1991 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 5 (1):21 – 34.
Gideon Rosen on Constructive Empiricism.Bas C. Fraassen - 1994 - Philosophical Studies 74 (2):179 - 192.
Constructive Empiricism and the Vices of Voluntarism.Paul Dicken - 2009 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 17 (2):189 – 201.
Empirical Adequacy in the Received View.Sebastian Lutz - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (5):1171-1183.
Constructive Empiricism and Modal Metaphysics: A Reply to Monton and Van Fraassen.James Ladyman - 2004 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (4):755-765.
Constructive Empiricism: Normative or Descriptive?Moti Mizrahi - 2014 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 22 (4):604-616.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
222 ( #35,350 of 2,324,566 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #230,295 of 2,324,566 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes