Can a constructive empiricist adopt the concept of observability?

Philosophy of Science 71 (1):80-97 (2004)
Alan Musgrave, Michael Friedman, Jeffrey Foss, and Richard Creath raised different objections against the Distinction between observables and unobservables when drawn within the confines of Bas C. van Fraassen's Constructive Empiricism, to the effect that the Distinction cannot be drawn there coherently. Van Fraassen has only responded to Musgrave but Musgrave claimed not to understand van Fraassen's succinct response. I argue that van Fraassen's response is not enough. What remains in the end is an unsolved problem which CE cannot afford to leave unsolved, or so I argue; I then strengthen Musgrave's criticism and indicate that an extension of the epistemic policy of CE is mandatory to solve the problem. I also argue that Friedman's and Foss' objection against the Distinction in CE misses the mark on closer inspection. An objection due to Creath does hit the mark but can be taken care of without too much ado. All these objections seem alive and kicking until the present day; I try to put them all to rest
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DOI 10.1086/381414
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