A realist theory of empirical testing resolving the theory-ladenness/ objectivity debate

Philosophy of the Social Sciences 24 (2):133-158 (1994)
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Abstract

This article explores whether theory-ladenness makes empirical testing an inse cure foundation for objectivity. Specifically, this article uses path diagrams as visual heuristics to assist in (1) developing a parsimonious representation of the traditional empiricist view of empirical testing, (2) showing how the "New Image" view ostensibly threatens the objectivity of science, (3) proposing a unified, realist theory of empirical testing, (4) developing a representation of the unified theory, (5) exploring several potential threats to objectivity, (6) discussing the proposed theory's implications for social science, and (7) adumbrating three foundational premises for scientific realism.

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