What's really wrong with constructive empiricism? Van Fraassen and the metaphysics of modality

Abstract
Constructive empiricism is supposed to offer a positive alternative to scientific realism that dispenses with the need for metaphysics. I first review the terms of the debate before arguing that the standard objections to constructive empiricism are not decisive. I then explain van Fraassen's views on modality and counterfactuals, and argue that, because constructive empiricism recommends on epistemological grounds belief in the empirical adequacy rather than the truth of theories, it requires that there be an objective modal distinction between the observable and the unobservable. This conclusion is incompatible with van Fraassen's empiricism. Finally I explain some further problems for constructive empiricism that arise when we consider modal matters.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/bjps/51.4.837
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 25,751
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Evolutionary Epistemology and the Aim of Science.Darrell P. Rowbottom - 2010 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (2):209-225.

View all 17 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles
A Paradox for Empiricism (?).Igor Douven - 1996 - Philosophy of Science 63 (3):297.
Constructive Empiricism and the Vices of Voluntarism.Paul Dicken - 2009 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 17 (2):189 – 201.
Constructive Empiricism and Anti-Realism.Sam Mitchell - 1988 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1988:174 - 180.
On Rejecting Foss's Image of Van Fraassen.Warren Bourgeois - 1987 - Philosophy of Science 54 (2):303-308.
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.

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

212 ( #17,128 of 2,146,876 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

10 ( #75,241 of 2,146,876 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums