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Images of EmpiricismEssays on Science and Stances, with a Reply from Bas C. van Fraassen$
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Bradley Monton

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199218844

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199218844.001.0001

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The Epistemology of Constructive Empiricism

The Epistemology of Constructive Empiricism

Chapter:
(p.46) 4 The Epistemology of Constructive Empiricism
Source:
Images of Empiricism
Author(s):

James Ladyman (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199218844.003.0004

This chapter questions what epistemic reason van Fraassen has for focusing on empirical adequacy. It contrasts van Fraassen's constructive empiricism with a pragmatic empiricism, where one gives pragmatic, not epistemic, reasons for believing in the claims of a theory. It suggests that van Fraassen does not give adequate justification for why belief in the empirical adequacy of a theory could ever be epistemically warranted. Van Fraassen is also relying on a priori knowledge — a charge with which van Fraassen would presumably be unhappy.

Keywords:   Bas van Fraassen, empirical adequacy, pragmatic empiricism, constructive empiricism, a priori knowledge

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