World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Constructive empiricism

Article Id: WHEBN0000842483
Reproduction Date:

Title: Constructive empiricism  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Empiricism, Philosophy of science, Structuralism (philosophy of science), Limiting case (philosophy of science), Unity of science
Collection: Constructivism, Empiricism, Metatheory of Science
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Constructive empiricism

In philosophy, constructive empiricism is a form of empiricism. Bas van Fraassen is nearly solely responsible for the initial development of constructive empiricism; its historically most important presentation appears in his The Scientific Image (1980). Constructive empiricism states that scientific theories are semantically literal, that they aim to be empirically adequate, and that their acceptance involves, as belief, only that they are empirically adequate. A theory is empirically adequate if and only if everything that it says about observable entities is true. A theory is semantically literal if and only if the language of the theory is interpreted in such a way that the claims of the theory are either true or false (as opposed to an instrumentalist reading).

Constructive empiricism is thus a normative, semantic and epistemological thesis. That science aims to be empirically adequate expresses the normative component. That scientific theories are semantically literal expresses the semantic component. That acceptance involves, as belief, only that a theory is empirically adequate expresses the epistemological component.

Constructive empiricism opposes scientific realism, logical positivism (or logical empiricism) and instrumentalism. Constructive empiricism and scientific realism agree that theories are semantically literal, which logical positivism and instrumentalism deny. Constructive empiricism, logical positivism and instrumentalism agree that theories do not aim for truth about unobservables, which scientific realism denies.

Constructive empiricism has been used to analyze various scientific fields, from physics to psychology (especially computational psychology).

See also

References

  • van Fraassen, Bas. The Scientific Image. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1980. ISBN 0-19-824427-4
  • Godfrey-Smith, Peter Theory and Reality p. 184-186, 234. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-30063-3
  • Monton, Bradley (ed.), Images of Empiricism: Essays on Science and Stances, with a Reply from Bas C. van Fraassen. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007. ISBN 0-19-921884-6.

External links

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from National Public Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.