Contra Ladyman: What really is right with constructive empiricism


Abstract
there be an objective modal distinction between the observable and the unobservable.’ My intent is to counter Ladyman's claim that the irreducibly modal character of empirical adequacy is something that is ‘really wrong with constructive empiricism’. I argue that disposition concepts refer to non-modal properties of types rather than to modal properties of tokens of those types. Solubility, for example, is an ‘occurrent’, though unobservable, property of a type of substance (involving the structure of associated atoms); and observability is, similarly, an ‘occurrent’, though unobservable, property of a type of event (involving the structure of associated physical systems). Empirical adequacy, like truth, is an objective, semantic notion; the empirical adequacy of a theory depends upon all actual tokens of the relevant observable type, not just upon the tokens that have actually been observed. Introduction The typical character of disposition concepts Confirmational versus semantic empirical adequacy Conclusion.
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DOI 10.1093/bjps/55.4.767
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