Ideas of Bas C. van Fraassen, by Theme

[American, fl. 1980, Professor at Princeton University.]

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1. Philosophy / D. Nature of Philosophy / 6. Despair over Philosophy
Philosophy is a value- and attitude-driven enterprise
1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 2. Possibility of Metaphysics
Is it likely that a successful, coherent, explanatory ontological hypothesis is true?
1. Philosophy / F. Analytic Philosophy / 1. Analysis
Analytic philosophy has an exceptional arsenal of critical tools
2. Reason / A. Nature of Reason / 6. Coherence
We may end up with a huge theory of carefully constructed falsehoods
10. Modality / A. Necessity / 11. Denial of Necessity
Empiricists deny what is unobservable, and reject objective modality
11. Knowledge Aims / A. Knowledge / 3. Belief / c. Aim of beliefs
To 'accept' a theory is not to believe it, but to believe it empirically adequate
14. Science / B. Scientific Theories / 2. Aim of Science
To accept a scientific theory, we only need to believe that it is empirically adequate
14. Science / D. Explanation / 3. Best Explanation / c. Against best explanation
Why should the true explanation be one of the few we have actually thought of?
Inference to best explanation contains all sorts of hidden values
14. Science / D. Explanation / 4. Explanation Doubts / a. Explanation as pragmatic
An explanation is just descriptive information answering a particular question
We accept many scientific theories without endorsing them as true