Philosophical Quarterly 47 (188):305 - 321 (1997)

Igor Douven
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Psillos has recently argued that van Fraassen’s arguments against abduction fail. Moreover, he claimed that, if successful, these arguments would equally undermine van Fraassen’s own constructive empiricism, for, Psillos thinks, it is only by appeal to abduction that constructive empiricism can be saved from issuing in a bald scepticism. We show that Psillos’ criticisms are misguided, and that they are mostly based on misinterpretations of van Fraassen’s arguments. Furthermore, we argue that Psillos’ arguments for his claim that constructive empiricism itself needs abduction point up to his failure to recognize the importance of van Fraassen’s broader epistemology for constructive empiricism. Towards the end of our paper we discuss the suspected relationship between constructive empiricism and scepticism in the light of this broader epistemology, and from a somewhat more general perspective
Keywords Inference to the Best Explanation   Philosophy of Science   Realism
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DOI 10.1111/1467-9213.00061
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References found in this work BETA

The Scientific Image.Bas C. Fraassen - 1983 - Mind 92 (366):291-293.
On Van Fraassen’s Critique of Abductive Reasoning.Stathis Psillos - 1996 - Philosophical Quarterly 46 (182):31-47.
Scientific Realism, Scientific Practice, and the Natural Ontological Attitude.André Kukla - 1994 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 45 (4):955-975.

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Citations of this work BETA

Truth-Seeking by Abduction.Ilkka Niiniluoto - 2018 - Cham, Switzerland: Springer.
Which Models of Scientific Explanation Are (In)Compatible with IBE?Yunus Prasetya - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
The Ecological Rationality of Explanatory Reasoning.Igor Douven - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 79:1-14.
Approximate Truth Vs. Empirical Adequacy.Seungbae Park - 2014 - Epistemologia 37 (1):106-118.

View all 31 citations / Add more citations

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