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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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Farewell to Empiricism

Farewell to Empiricism

Chapter:
(p.319) 14 Farewell to Empiricism
Source:
Images of Empiricism
Author(s):

Dien Ho

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199218844.003.0014

In Lecture 2 of The Empirical Stance, Bas van Fraassen argues that empiricism cannot be construed as a simple philosophical position; instead, he suggests that empiricism should be thought of as a stance. In the last section of the lecture, van Fraassen hints at the possibility that many other philosophical positions (e.g., materialism) are in fact stances if these positions are to survive as coherent views. This chapter points out some unsettling ramifications of van Fraassen's general thesis. The first section reconstructs van Fraassen's arguments against traditional empiricism. The second section offers an extension of his critique of empiricism to philosophy at large. The final section examines the consequences of van Fraassen's generalized thesis and how philosophy will survive in light of it.

Keywords:   value judgements, stances, philosophical disagreements, empiricism, Bas van Fraassen, The Empirical Stance

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