Microscopes and the Theory-Ladenness of Experience in Bas van Fraassen’s Recent Work

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Bas van Fraassen’s recent book Scientific Representation: Paradoxes of Perspective (2008) modifies and refines the “constructive empiricism” of TheScientific Image (1980) in a number of ways. This paper investigates the changes concerning one of the most controversial aspects of the overall position, that is, van Fraassen’s agnosticism concerning the veridicality of microscopic observation. The paper tries to make plausible that the new formulation of this agnosticism is an advance over the older rendering. The central part of this investigation is an attempt to answer Marc Alspector-Kelly’s 2004-criticism of an early (2001) version of van Fraassen’s new position. Alspector-Kelly’s contribution it is to date the most extensive attack on van Fraassen’s twenty-first-century work on the topic of microscopic observation. One of the central ideas emerging from the present discussion is a link between the debate over the veridicality of microscopic observation and the issue of the theory-ladenness of experience.

Seiten (von - bis)167-182
FachzeitschriftJournal for General Philosophy of Science
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 1 Apr. 2015

ÖFOS 2012

  • 603113 Philosophie