Constructive Empiricism and the Argument from Underdetermination

Maarten Van Dyck

in Images of Empiricism

Published in print October 2007 | ISBN: 9780199218844
Published online January 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780191711732 | DOI:

Series: Mind Association Occasional Series

 Constructive Empiricism and the Argument from Underdetermination

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This chapter examines the arguments van Fraassen gives for constructive empiricism. Van Fraassen is often presented as giving some version of the argument from underdetermination: the argument which holds that since theories always have empirically equivalent rivals, empirical evidence can never adjudicate between a theory and its rivals, and hence belief in any theory is unfounded. It is argued that van Fraassen does not give any version of the argument from underdetermination, and that the argument from underdetermination is incompatible with van Fraassen's epistemological views.

Keywords: Bas van Fraassen; underdetermination; constructive empiricism; voluntarism; The Scientific Image

Chapter.  8565 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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