Scientiae Studia 13 (1):123-141 (2015)

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 as the main reference for modern empiricism. My goal is to take up again the counterfactual conditionals characterizing perception that Otávio Bueno presented in 2011 in this journal, and also to consider the observability and the existence criteria proposed by Filip Buekens and Michel Ghins, in order to get to a definition of observation that should give van Fraassen's observability concept the support it actually lacks, but without presenting itself as an ad hoc solution
Keywords Constructive Empiricism  empirismo construtivo  observability  observation  perception  observabilidade  observação  percepção  van Fraassen
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DOI 10.1590/S1678-31662015000100006
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References found in this work BETA

Laws and Symmetry.Bas C. van Fraassen - 1989 - Oxford University Press.
The Scientific Image.Michael Friedman - 1982 - Journal of Philosophy 79 (5):274-283.

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