The Scientific Image by Bas. C. van FraassenThe Scientific Image by Bas. C. van Fraassen

The Scientific Image

byBas. C. van Fraassen

Paperback | May 1, 1995

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The aim of The Scientific Image is to develop an empiricist alternative to both logical positivism and scientific realism. Against positivism, the author insists on a literal interpretation of the language of science, and on an irreducibly pragmatic dimension of theory acceptance. Againstrealism he argues that the central aim of science is empirical adequacy, and that the only belief involved in the acceptance of a scientific theory is belief that the theory fits the observable phenomena.To substatiate this, the book presents three mutually supporting theories concerning science. The first is an account of the relation between a scientific theory and the empirical world. The second is a new theory of explanation and why-questions, according to which the explanatory power of a theoryis a pragmatic aspect which goes beyond its empirical import, but which provides no additional reasons for believing it. And the third is an interpretation of probability in physical theory, with reference to both classical and quantum physics. The presentation of these three central theses is preceded by two chapters which provide an informal introduction to current debates in the philosophy of science, particularly concerning scientific realism.

About The Author

Bas. C. van Fraassen is at Princeton University.
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Details & Specs

Title:The Scientific ImageFormat:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.59 inPublished:May 1, 1995Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198244274

ISBN - 13:9780198244271

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. Arguments Concerning Scientific Realism3. To Save the Phenomena4. Empiricism and Scientific Methodology5. The Pragmatics of Explanation6. Probability: The New Modality of Science7. Gentle PolemicsNotesIndex

From Our Editors

The Aim of 'The Scientific Image' is to develop an empiricist alternative to both logical positivism and scientific realism. The book presents three mutually supporting theories concerning science. The presentation of these three theses is preceded by two chapters which provide an informal introduction to current in the philosophy of science, particularly concerning scientific realism.