Elliott Sober
University of Wisconsin, Madison
constructive empiricism asserts that it is not for science to reach a verdict on whether a theory is true or false, if the theory is about unobservable entities; science's only interest here, says Van Fraassen, is to discover whether the theory is ‘empirically adequate’. However, if a theory is soley about observables, empirical adequacy and truth are said to ‘coincide’, here discovering the theory's truth value is an appropriate scientific goal. Constructive empiricism thus rests an epistemological thesis on a semantical distinction. This paper critically examines the notion of aboutness and its epistemological significance. * I am grateful to members of my philosophy of science seminar during Spring, 1983 for useful discussion and to the two anonymous referees of this journal for providing helpful suggestions. I also thank the University of Wisconsin, Madison Graduate School for support in the form of a Romnes Faculty Fellowship.
Keywords Realism   Philosophy of Science   Empiricism
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DOI 10.1093/bjps/36.1.11
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References found in this work BETA

Philosophy of Logic.W. V. Quine - 1970 - Harvard University Press.
The Scientific Image.Michael Friedman - 1982 - Journal of Philosophy 79 (5):274-283.
Seeing And Knowing.Fred I. Dretske - 1969 - Chicago: University Of Chicago Press.
Introduction to Mathematical Logic.Alonzo Church - 1944 - Princeton: Princeton University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Unification, Explanation, and the Composition of Causes in Newtonian Mechanics.Malcolm R. Forster - 1988 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 19 (1):55-101.
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