Farewell to Empiricism

Dien Ho

in Images of Empiricism

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

Series: Mind Association Occasional Series

 Farewell to Empiricism

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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

Chapter.  5927 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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