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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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Putting a Bridle on Irrationality: An Appraisal of van Fraassen's New Epistemology

Putting a Bridle on Irrationality: An Appraisal of van Fraassen's New Epistemology

Chapter:
(p.134) 8 Putting a Bridle on Irrationality: An Appraisal of van Fraassen's New Epistemology
Source:
Images of Empiricism
Author(s):

Stathis Psilos

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199218844.003.0008

This chapter examines van Fraassen's conception of rationality. It reviews the Bayesian structural conception of rationality and argues that it has been found wanting. It goes on to analyze van Fraassen's voluntarism. Some objections are raised about van Fraassen's reliance on prior opinion, and it is argued that the content of a belief matters to its rationality. Then it criticizes van Fraassen's view that inference to the best explanation is incoherent. Finally, it is shown that van Fraassen's conception of rationality is too thin to capture rational judgement fully.

Keywords:   Bas van Fraassen, voluntarist, rationality, inference, rational judgement

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