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Reconstructed Empiricism

Acta Analytica 32 (1):95-113 (2017)

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  1. Real Realism: The Galilean Strategy.Philip Kitcher - 2001 - Philosophical Review 110 (2):151-197.
    This essay aims to disentangle various types of anti-realism, and to disarm the considerations that are deployed to support them. I distinguish empiricist versions of anti-realism from constructivist versions, and, within each of these, semantic arguments from epistemological arguments. The centerpiece of my defense of a modest version of realism - real realism - is the thought that there are resources within our ordinary ways of talking about and knowing about everyday objects that enable us to extend our claims to (...)
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  • Real Realism: The Galilean Strategy.Philip Kitcher - 2001 - Philosophical Review 110 (2):151.
    There are almost as many versions of realism as there are antirealists, each ready to supply a preferred characterization before undertaking demolition. Even in the case of scientific realism, my topic here, I recognize two major antirealist themes.
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  • Laws and Symmetry.Bas C. van Fraassen - 1989 - Oxford, England: 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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  • Betting on Theories.Patrick Maher - 1993 - Cambridge, New York and Melbourne: Cambridge University Press.
    This book is a major contribution to decision theory, focusing on the question of when it is rational to accept scientific theories. The author examines both Bayesian decision theory and confirmation theory, refining and elaborating the views of Ramsey and Savage. He argues that the most solid foundation for confirmation theory is to be found in decision theory, and he provides a decision-theoretic derivation of principles for how many probabilities should be revised over time. Professor Maher defines a notion of (...)
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  • The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory.Pierre Duhem & Philip P. Wiener - 1955 - Science and Society 19 (1):85-87.
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  • Spreading the Word. [REVIEW]Kent Bach - 1987 - Philosophical Review 96 (1):120.
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  • The Scientific Image.William Demopoulos & Bas C. van Fraassen - 1982 - Philosophical Review 91 (4):603.
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  • Believing the Improbable.Mark Kaplan - 1995 - Philosophical Studies 77 (1):117 - 146.
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  • An Essay on Belief and Acceptance. [REVIEW]Joseph Moore - 1994 - Philosophical Review 103 (4):705.
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  • Laws and Symmetry.Bas C. van Fraassen - 1989 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 182 (3):327-329.
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  • An Essay on Belief and Acceptance.Louis P. Pojman - 1995 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 55 (2):496-498.
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  • The False Hopes of Traditional Epistemology.Bas C. Van Fraassen - 2000 - Philosophy 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Deciding to Believe.Bernard Williams - 1970 - In Problems of the Self. Cambridge University Press. pp. 136--51.
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  • On Van Fraassen’s Critique of Abductive Reasoning.Stathis Psillos - 1996 - Philosophical Quarterly 46 (182):31-47.
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  • What is Constructive Empiricism?Gideon Rosen - 1994 - Philosophical Studies 74 (2):143 - 178.
    Van Fraassen defines constructive empiricism as the view that science aims to produce empirically adequate theories. But this account has been misunderstood. Constructive empiricism in not, as it seems, a description of the intentional features of scientific practice, nor is it a normative prescription for their revision. It is rather a fiction about the practice of science that van Fraassen displays in the interests of a broader empiricism. The paper concludes with a series of arguments designed to show that constructive (...)
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  • Subjective Probability and Acceptance.Mark Norris Lance - 1995 - Philosophical Studies 77 (1):147 - 179.
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  • 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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  • Constructive Empiricism: Epistemology and the Philosophy of Science.Paul Dicken - 2010 - Palgrave-Macmillan.
    Constructive empiricism is not just a view regarding the aim of science; it is also a view regarding the epistemological framework in which one should debate the aim of science. This is the focus of this book -- not with scientific truth, but with how one should argue about scientific truth.
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  • The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory.Pierre Maurice Marie Duhem - 1954 - Princeton: Princeton University Press.
    This classic work in the philosophy of physical science is an incisive and readable account of the scientific method. Pierre Duhem was one of the great figures in French science, a devoted teacher, and a distinguished scholar of the history and philosophy of science. This book represents his most mature thought on a wide range of topics.
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  • From a View of Science to a New Empiricism.Bas C. Van Fraassen - 2007 - In Bradley Monton (ed.), Images of Empiricism: Essays on Science and Stances, with a Reply From Bas C. Van Fraassen. Oxford University Press.
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  • Putting a Bridle on Irrationality: An Appraisal of Van Fraassen’s New Epistemology.Stathis Psillos - 2003 - In Bradley Monton (ed.), Images of Empiricism: Essays on Science and Stances, with a Reply From Bas C. Van Fraassen. Oxford University Press. pp. 288-319.
    Over the last twenty years, Bas van Fraassen has developed a “new epistemology”: an attempt to sail between Bayesianism and traditional epistemology. He calls his own alternative “voluntarism”. A constant pillar of his thought is the thought that rationality involves permission rather than obligation. The present paper aims to offer an appraisal of van Fraassen’s conception of rationality. In section 2, I review the Bayesian structural conception of rationality and argue that it has been found wanting. In sections 3 and (...)
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  • Why Be Hanged for Even a Lamb?Nancy Cartwright - 2007 - In Bradley Monton (ed.), Images of Empiricism: Essays on Science and Stances, with a Reply From Bas C. Van Fraassen. Oxford University Press.
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  • The Epistemology of Constructive Empiricism.James Ladyman - 2007 - In Bradley Monton (ed.), Images of Empiricism: Essays on Science and Stances, with a Reply From Bas C. Van Fraassen. Oxford University Press.
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  • An Essay on Belief and Acceptance.L. Jonathan Cohen - 1992 - New York: Clarendon Press.
    In this incisive new book one of Britain's most eminent philosophers explores the often overlooked tension between voluntariness and involuntariness in human cognition. He seeks to counter the widespread tendency for analytic epistemology to be dominated by the concept of belief. Is scientific knowledge properly conceived as being embodied, at its best, in a passive feeling of belief or in an active policy of acceptance? Should a jury's verdict declare what its members involuntarily believe or what they voluntarily accept? And (...)
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  • On the Aim of Belief.J. David Velleman - manuscript
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  • Realism: Deconstructing the Debate.Simon Blackburn - 2002 - Ratio 15 (2):111-133.
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  • Constructive Empiricism and the Problem of Aboutness.Elliott Sober - 1985 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 36 (1):11-18.
    constructive empiricism asserts that it is not for science to reach a verdict on whether a theory is true or false, if the theory is about unobservable entities; science's only interest here, says Van Fraassen, is to discover whether the theory is ‘empirically adequate’. However, if a theory is soley about observables, empirical adequacy and truth are said to ‘coincide’, here discovering the theory's truth value is an appropriate scientific goal. Constructive empiricism thus rests an epistemological thesis on a semantical (...)
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  • Gideon Rosen on Constructive Empiricism.Bas C. van Fraassen - 1994 - Philosophical Studies 74 (2):179-192.
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  • On the Nature and Norms of Theoretical Commitment.Paul Horwich - 1991 - Philosophy of Science 58 (1):1-14.
    It is not uncommon for philosophers to maintain that one is obliged to believe nothing beyond the observable consequences of a successful scientific theory. This doctrine is variously known as instrumentalism, fictionalism, constructive empiricism, theoretical skepticism and the philosophy of "as if". The purpose of the present paper is to subject such forms of scientific antirealism to a two-pronged critique. In the first place it is argued that there is no genuine difference between believing a theory and being disposed to (...)
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  • Whither Constructive Empiricism?Paul Teller - 2001 - Philosophical Studies 106 (1-2):123 - 150.
    In this paper I will set out my understanding of Bas van Fraassen’s constructive empiricism, some of the difficulties which I believe beset the current version, and, very briefly, some valuable lessons I believe are nonetheless to be learned by considering this view.We’ll need to begin with a review of how van Fraassen conceives of this kind of discussion.
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  • The Empirical Stance.Elijah Millgram - 2006 - Philosophical Review 115 (3):404-408.
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  • Explanation and Metaphysical Controversy.Peter Railton - 1989 - In Philip Kitcher & Wesley Salmon (eds.), Scientific Explanation. Univ of Minnesota Pr. pp. 13--220.
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  • Epistemology for Empiricists.Elliott Sober - 1993 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 18 (1):39-61.
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  • The Epistemology of Constructive Empiricism.James Ladyman - 2007 - In Bradley Monton (ed.), Images of Empiricism: Essays on Science and Stances, with a Reply from Bas C. van Fraassen. Oxford University Press.
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  • The Scientific Image.Michael Friedman - 1982 - Journal of Philosophy 79 (5):274-283.
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  • A Bayesian Theory of Rational Acceptance.Mark Kaplan - 1981 - Journal of Philosophy 78 (6):305-330.
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  • How to Talk About Unobservables.F. A. Muller & B. C. van Fraassen - 2008 - Analysis 68 (3):197 - 205.
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  • Should the Empiricist Be a Constructive Empiricist?Marc Alspector-Kelly - 2001 - Philosophy of Science 68 (4):413-431.
    Van Fraassen does not argue that everyone should be a constructive empiricist. He claims only that constructive empiricism (CE) is a coherent post-positivist alternative to realism, notwithstanding the realist's charge that CE is arbitrary and irrational. He does argue, however, that the empiricist is obliged to limit belief as CE prescribes. Criticism of CE has been largely directed at van Fraassen's claim that CE is a coherent option. Far less attention has been directed at his claim that empiricists should be (...)
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  • The Empirical Stance.Bas C. van Fraassen - 2004 - Philosophical Studies 121 (2):171-192.
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  • The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory. Pierre Duhem, P. P. Wiener.Martin J. Klein - 1954 - Philosophy of Science 21 (4):354-355.
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  • 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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  • Gideon Rosen on Constructive Empiricism.Bas C. Fraassen - 1994 - Philosophical Studies 74 (2):179 - 192.
    In response to parts I-III of G Rosen's "What is Constructive Empiricism?", "Philosophical Studies", 74, 1994, 143-178, this paper examines several construals of the position of constructive empiricism. At issue, in part, is the equation of intentional aspects of science with the intentions and opinions of scientists. In addition it is necessary to distinguish the constructive empiricist -- a philosopher holding that acceptance of theories in science need not involve belief that they are true -- from the scientific agnostic' who (...)
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  • Rational Acceptance.Mark Kaplan - 1981 - Philosophical Studies 40 (2):129 - 145.
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  • Practical Reasoning and Acceptance in a Context.Michael E. Bratman - 1992 - Mind 101 (401):1-16.
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  • Why Constructive Empiricism Collapses Into Scientific Realism.Norman Melchert - 1985 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 63 (2):213 – 215.
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  • Realism: Deconstructing the Debate.Simon Blackburn - 2002 - Ratio 15 (2):111–133.
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  • The Grammar of Science.Edgar A. Singer & Karl Pearson - 1900 - Philosophical Review 9 (4):448.
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  • Real Realism: The Galilean Strategy.Philip Kitcher - 2012 - Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 101:193-239.
    This essay aims to disentangle various types of anti-realism, and to disarm the considerations that are deployed to support them. I distinguish empiricist versions of anti-realism from constructivist versions, and, within each of these, semantic arguments from epistemological arguments. The centerpiece of my defense of a modest version of realism - real realism - is the thought that there are resources within our ordinary ways of talking about and knowing about everyday objects that enable us to extend our claims to (...)
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