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Bas C. Van Fraassen
San Francisco State University
  1. Laws and Symmetry.Bas C. van Fraassen - 1989 - Oxford University Press.
    Metaphysicians speak of laws of nature in terms of necessity and universality; scientists, in terms of symmetry and invariance. In this book van Fraassen argues that no metaphysical account of laws can succeed. He analyzes and rejects the arguments that there are laws of nature, or that we must believe there are, and argues that we should disregard the idea of law as an adequate clue to science. After exploring what this means for general epistemology, the author develops the empiricist (...)
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  2.  39
    The Scientific Image.William Demopoulos & Bas C. van Fraassen - 1982 - Philosophical Review 91 (4):603.
  3. Scientific Representation: Paradoxes of Perspective.Bas C. van Fraassen - 2008 - Oxford University Press UK.
  4. Belief and the Will.Bas C. van Fraassen - 1984 - Journal of Philosophy 81 (5):235-256.
  5.  88
    The Empirical Stance.Bas C. van Fraassen - 2002 - Yale University Press.
    What is empiricism and what could it be? Bas C. van Fraassen, one of the world's foremost contributors to philosophical logic and the philosophy of science, here undertakes a fresh consideration of these questions and offers a program for renewal of the empiricist tradition. The empiricist tradition is not and could not be defined by common doctrines but embodies a certain stance in philosophy, van Fraassen says. This stance is displayed first of all in a searing recurrent critique of metaphysics, (...)
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  6. Belief and the Will.Bas C. van Fraassen - 2010 - In Antony Eagle (ed.), Philosophy of Probability: Contemporary Readings. Routledge. pp. 235-256.
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  7.  4
    The Empirical Stance.Bas C. Van Fraassen - 2002 - Yale University Press.
    What is empiricism and what could it be? Bas C. van Fraassen, one of the world’s foremost contributors to philosophical logic and the philosophy of science, here undertakes a fresh consideration of these questions and offers a program for renewal of the empiricist tradition. The empiricist tradition is not and could not be defined by common doctrines, but embodies a certain stance in philosophy, van Fraassen says. This stance is displayed first of all in a searing, recurrent critique of metaphysics, (...)
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  8. Singular Terms, Truth-Value Gaps, and Free Logic.Bas C. van Fraassen - 1966 - Journal of Philosophy 63 (17):481-495.
  9. Constructive Empiricism Now.Bas C. van Fraassen - 2001 - Philosophical Studies 106 (1):151-170.
    Constructive empiricism, the view introduced in The Scientific Image, is a view of science, an answer to the question "what is science?" Arthur Fine's and Paul Teller's contributions to this symposium challenge especially two key ideas required to formulate that view, namely the observable/unobservable and acceptance/belief distinctions. I wish to thank them not only for their insightful critique but also for the support they include. For they illuminate and counter some misunderstandings of Constructive Empiricism along the way. That leaves me (...)
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  10.  5
    The Empirical Stance.Bas C. van Fraassen - 2004 - Philosophical Studies 121 (2):171-192.
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  11. Belief and the Problem of Ulysses and the Sirens.Bas C. van Fraassen - 1995 - Philosophical Studies 77 (1):7-37.
    This is surely a bit of Socrates' famous irony. He draws the analogy to explain how his friends should regard poetry as they regretfully banish it from the ideal state. But lovers were no more sensible then than they are now. The advice to banish poetry, undermined already by Plato's own delight and skill in drama, is perhaps undermined still further by this evocation of a 'sensible' lover who counts love so well lost. Yet Socrates' image is one of avowed (...)
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  12. Structure: Its Shadow and Substance.Bas C. van Fraassen - 2006 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (2):275-307.
    Structural realism as developed by John Worrall and others can claim philosophical roots as far back as the late 19th century, though the discussion at that time does not unambiguously favor the contemporary form, or even its realism. After a critical examination of some aspects of the historical background some severe critical challenges to both Worrall's and Ladyman's versions are highlighted, and an alternative empiricist structuralism proposed. Support for this empiricist version is provided in part by the different way in (...)
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  13.  28
    Quantum Mechanics: An Empiricist View.Paul Teller & Bas C. van Fraassen - 1995 - Philosophical Review 104 (3):457.
  14. Presupposition, Implication, and Self-Reference.Bas C. van Fraassen - 1968 - Journal of Philosophy 65 (5):136-152.
  15. Values and the Heart's Command.Bas C. Van Fraassen - 1973 - Journal of Philosophy 70 (1):5-19.
  16.  70
    An Introduction to the Philosophy of Time and Space.Bas C. van Fraassen - 1970 - Columbia University Press.
  17. One or Two Gentle Remarks About Hans Halvorson’s Critique of the Semantic View.Bas C. van Fraassen - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (2):276-283,.
  18.  96
    On the Extension of Beth's Semantics of Physical Theories.Bas C. van Fraassen - 1970 - Philosophy of Science 37 (3):325-339.
    A basic aim of E. Beth's work in philosophy of science was to explore the use of formal semantic methods in the analysis of physical theories. We hope to show that a general framework for Beth's semantic analysis is provided by the theory of semi-interpreted languages, introduced in a previous paper. After developing Beth's analysis of nonrelativistic physical theories in a more general form, we turn to the notion of the 'logic' of a physical theory. Here we prove a result (...)
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  19. Facts and Tautological Entailments.Bas C. Van Fraassen - 1969 - Journal of Philosophy 66 (15):477-487.
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  20.  13
    The Charybdis of Realism: Epistemological Implications of Bell’s Inequality.Bas C. van Fraassen - 1982 - Synthese 52 (1):25-38.
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  21. The Pragmatics of Explanation.Bas C. Van Fraassen - 1977 - American Philosophical Quarterly 14 (2):143-150.
  22. The Perils of Perrin, in the Hands of Philosophers.Bas C. van Fraassen - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 143 (1):5 - 24.
    The story of how Perrin’s experimental work established the reality of atoms and molecules has been a staple in (realist) philosophy of science writings (Wesley Salmon, Clark Glymour, Peter Achinstein, Penelope Maddy, …). I’ll argue that how this story is told distorts both what the work was and its significance, and draw morals for the understanding of how theories can be or fail to be empirically grounded.
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  23. The Only Necessity is Verbal Necessity.Bas C. Van Fraassen - 1977 - Journal of Philosophy 74 (2):71-85.
  24.  32
    The Logic of Conditional Obligation.Bas C. Van Fraassen - 1972 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 1 (3/4):417.
  25.  81
    A Problem for Relative Information Minimizers in Probability Kinematics.Bas C. van Fraassen - 1981 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 32 (4):375-379.
  26.  99
    Fine-Grained Opinion, Probability, and the Logic of Full Belief.Bas C. van Fraassen - 1995 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 24 (4):349-377.
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  27.  20
    Formal Semantics and Logic.Bas C. Van Fraassen - 1971 - New York: Macmillan.
  28. Representation: The Problem for Structuralism.Bas C. van Fraassen - 2006 - Philosophy of Science 73 (5):536-547.
    What does it mean to embed the phenomena in an abstract structure? Or to represent them by doing so? The semantic view of theories runs into a severe problem if these notions are construed either naively, in a metaphysical way, or too closely on the pattern of the earlier syntactic view. Constructive empiricism and structural realism will then share those difficulties. The problem will be posed as in Reichenbach's The Theory of Relativity and A Priori Knowledge, and realist reactions will (...)
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  29. Conditionalization, a New Argument For.Bas C. van Fraassen - 1999 - Topoi 18 (2):93-96.
    Probabilism in epistemology does not have to be of the Bayesian variety. The probabilist represents a person''s opinion as a probability function; the Bayesian adds that rational change of opinion must take the form of conditionalizing on new evidence. I will argue that this is the correct procedure under certain special conditions. Those special conditions are important, and instantiated for example in scientific experimentation, but hardly universal. My argument will be related to the much maligned Reflection Principle (van Fraassen, 1984, (...)
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  30.  49
    Replies to Discussion on the Empirical Stance.Bas C. van Fraassen - 2004 - Philosophical Studies 121 (2):171-192.
  31. To Save the Phenomena.Bas C. van Fraassen - 1976 - Journal of Philosophy 73 (18):623-632.
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  32. On Stance and Rationality.Bas C. van Fraassen - 2011 - Synthese 178 (1):155 - 169.
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  33.  23
    Representational of Conditional Probabilities.Bas C. Van Fraassen - 1976 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 5 (3):417-430.
  34.  61
    Meaning Relations Among Predicates.Bas C. van Fraassen - 1967 - Noûs 1 (2):161-179.
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  35. From Vicious Circle to Infinite Regress, and Back Again.Bas C. van Fraassen - 1992 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992:6-29.
    The attempt to formulate a viable empiricist and non-foundationalist epistemology of science faces four problems here confronted. The first is an apparent loss of objectivity in science, in the conditions of use of models in applied science. The second derives from the theory-infection of scientific language, with an apparent loss of objective conditions of truth and reference. The third, often cited as objection to The Scientific Image, is the apparent theory-dependence of the distinction between what is and is not observable. (...)
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  36.  87
    What is Scientific Realism?Anjan Chakravartty & Bas C. van Fraassen - 2018 - Spontaneous Generations 9 (1):12-25.
    Decades of debate about scientific realism notwithstanding, we find ourselves bemused by what different philosophers appear to think it is, exactly. Does it require any sort of belief in relation to scientific theories and, if so, what sort? Is it rather typified by a certain understanding of the rationality of such beliefs? In the following dialogue we explore these questions in hopes of clarifying some convictions about what scientific realism is, and what it could or should be. En route, we (...)
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  37. Against Transcendental Empiricism.Bas C. van Fraassen - unknown
    What is empiricism? There can be no authoritative answer to any such question. A historian of philosophy can at best try to call what is common to philosophers who either identified themselves, or have traditionally been identified, as empiricists. But what has set those philosophers apart from others, and especially from those whom they criticized, may not be captured in common views or doctrines. The historian may, in trying to fix the label, rely tacitly on a view of what philosophical (...)
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  38. Rovelli’s World.Bas C. van Fraassen - 2010 - Foundations of Physics 40 (4):390-417.
    Carlo Rovelli’s inspiring “Relational Quantum Mechanics” serves several aims at once: it provides a new vision of what the world of quantum mechanics is like, and it offers a program to derive the theory’s formalism from a set of simple postulates pertaining to information processing. I propose here to concentrate entirely on the former, to explore the world of quantum mechanics as Rovelli depicts it. It is a fascinating world in part because of Rovelli’s reliance on the information-theory approach to (...)
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  39.  20
    Gideon Rosen on Constructive Empiricism.Bas C. van Fraassen - 1994 - Philosophical Studies 74 (2):179-192.
  40. Scientific Representation: A Long Journey From Pragmatics to Pragmatics: Bas C. Van Fraassen: Scientific Representation: Paradoxes of Perspective. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2008, Xiv+408pp, £35.00 HB. [REVIEW]James Ladyman, Otávio Bueno, Mauricio Suárez & Bas C. van Fraassen - 2011 - Metascience 20 (3):417-442.
    Scientific representation: A long journey from pragmatics to pragmatics Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9465-5 Authors James Ladyman, Department of Philosophy, University of Bristol, 9 Woodland Rd, Bristol, BS8 1TB UK Otávio Bueno, Department of Philosophy, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL 33124, USA Mauricio Suárez, Department of Logic and Philosophy of Science, Complutense University of Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain Bas C. van Fraassen, Philosophy Department, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132, USA Journal Metascience Online (...)
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  41. Identity Over Time: Objectively, Subjectively.Bas C. van Fraassen & Isabelle Peschard - 2008 - Philosophical Quarterly 58 (230):15-35.
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  42. `World' is Not a Count Noun.Bas C. van Fraassen - 1995 - Noûs 29 (2):139-157.
    The word "world" has in fact many ordinary uses as a count noun; I shall discuss some of them below.(2) There is however also a distinctive philosophical use found in recent ontology (in the sense in which Quine reintroduced this term in analytic philosophy, for theories about what there is). As to this philosophical use, I shall argue that there is no reason to think that it refers to anything, if indeed it is intelligible at all.
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  43.  61
    The Logical Structure of the World & Pseudo-Problems in Philosophy. Rudolf Carnap, Rolf A. George. [REVIEW]Bas C. van Fraassen - 1968 - Philosophy of Science 35 (3):298-299.
  44.  15
    Replies to Discussion on the Empirical.Bas C. van Fraassen - 2004 - Philosophical Studies 121 (2):171-192.
  45. Putnam's Paradox: Metaphysical Realism Revamped and Evaded.Bas C. van Fraassen - 1997 - Philosophical Perspectives 11:17-42.
    Hilary Putnam's argument against metaphysical realism (commonly referred to as the "model theoretic argument") has now enjoyed two decades of discussion.(1) The text is rich and contains variously construable arguments against variously construed philosophical positions. David Lewis isolated one argument and called it "Putnam's Paradox".(2) That argument is clear and concise; so is the paradoxical conclusion it purports to demonstrate; and so is Lewis' paradox-avoiding solution. His solution involves a position I call "anti-nominalism": not only are classes real, but they (...)
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  46.  21
    The Agnostic Subtly Probabilified.Bas C. van Fraassen - 1998 - Analysis 58 (3):212-220.
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  47.  39
    Précis of The Empirical Stance.Bas C. van Fraassen - 2004 - Philosophical Studies 121 (2):127 - 132.
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  48.  12
    The False Hopes of Traditional Epistemology.Bas C. Van Fraassen - 2000 - Philosophical and Phenomenological Research 60 (2):253--280.
    After Hume, attempts to forge an empiricist epistemology have taken three forms, which I shall call the First, Middle, and Third Way. The First still attempts an a priori demonstration that our cognitive methods satisfy some criterion of adequacy. The Middle Way is pursued under the banners of naturalism and scientific realism, and aims at the same conclusion on non-apriori grounds. After arguing that both fail, I shall describe the general characteristics of the Third Way, an alternative epistemology suitable for (...)
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  49. The Physics and Metaphysics of Identity and Individuality: Steven French and Décio Krause: Identity in Physics: A Historical, Philosophical, and Formal Analysis. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2006, 440 Pp, £68.00 HB.Don Howard, Bas C. van Fraassen, Otávio Bueno, Elena Castellani, Laura Crosilla, Steven French & Décio Krause - 2011 - Metascience 20 (2):225-251.
    The physics and metaphysics of identity and individuality Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9463-7 Authors Don Howard, Department of Philosophy and Graduate Program in History and Philosophy of Science, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556, USA Bas C. van Fraassen, Philosophy Department, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132, USA Otávio Bueno, Department of Philosophy, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL 33124, USA Elena Castellani, Department of Philosophy, University of Florence, Via Bolognese 52, 50139 (...)
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  50.  48
    Vague Expectation Value Loss.Bas C. Van Fraassen - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 127 (3):483 - 491.
    Vague subjective probability may be modeled by means of a set of probability functions, so that the represented opinion has only a lower and upper bound. The standard rule of conditionalization can be straightforwardly adapted to this. But this combination has difficulties which, though well known in the technical literature, have not been given sufficient attention in probabilist or Bayesian epistemology. Specifically, updating on apparently irrelevant bits of news can be destructive of one’s explicitly prior expectations. Stability of vague subjective (...)
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