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The Limits of Realism$
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Tim Button

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199672172

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199672172.001.0001

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Empiricism and empirical content

Empiricism and empirical content

(p.32) 5 Empiricism and empirical content
The Limits of Realism

Tim Button

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores three versions of bracketed empiricism. The first involves the idea of a constructed world (as in Carnap’s Aufbau). The second involves the idea that there is a dichotomy between sensation-words (used to describe sensations) and posit-words (used for posits in a theory that adequately captures ones sensations). The third involves the loose idea of a notional world. All three positions hold that empirical content is given solely in terms of bracketed experience. Consequently, all three positions effectively erect a veil of sensations between the subject and the world. All three must therefore accept that, by their own lights, any statement with empirical content is just more theory and so fails to constrain reference.

Keywords:   bracketed experience, bracketed empiricism, empirical content, narrow content, carnap’s methodological solipsism, constructed world, notional world, veil of sensations, just-more-theory manoeuvre, external realism, putnam’s model-theoretic arguments

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