Chapter

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

Stathis Psilos

in Images of Empiricism

Published in print October 2007 | ISBN: 9780199218844
Published online January 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780191711732 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199218844.003.0008

Series: Mind Association Occasional Series

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

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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

Chapter.  13891 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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