The Epistemology of Constructive Empiricism

James Ladyman

in Images of Empiricism

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

Series: Mind Association Occasional Series

 The Epistemology of Constructive Empiricism

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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

Chapter.  6426 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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