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The Scientific Image - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Scientific Image

Bas. C. van Fraassen


This book presents an empiricist alternative (‘constructive empiricism’) to both logical positivism and scientific realism. Against the former, it insists on a literal understanding of the language of science and on an irreducibly pragmatic dimension of theory acceptance. Against scientific realism, it insists that the central aim of science is empirical adequacy (‘saving the phenomena’) and that even unqualified acceptance of a theory involves no more belief than that this goal is met. Beginning with a critique of the metaphysical arguments that typically accompany scientific realism, a new c ... More

Keywords: empirical adequacy, empiricism, explanation, logical positivism, metaphysics, philosophy of physics, philosophy of science, pragmatism, probability, scientific realism, theory acceptance

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 1980 Print ISBN-13: 9780198244271
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003 DOI:10.1093/0198244274.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Bas. C. van Fraassen, author
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