Bas van Frassen and Constructive Empiricism

Created by  Crystal Ikegwuonu
Bas van Fraassen is well known for his philosophical works and especially for coining the term "constructive empiricism". Constructive empiricism stands against what scientific realism aims to do, and that is according to Fraassen, " science aims to give us, in its theories, a literally true story of what the world is like; and acceptance of a scientific theory involves the belief that it is true". So constructive empiricist holds firm in that everything that can be observed about the world is reflected truthfully by science, but science does not have truth in things that cannot be observed. Constructive empiricists also believe in scientific theories are literally true.
Logical Positivism was another philosophical stand that did not believe in scientific realism. Most believed that because logical positivism was dead then so was anti-realism. Van Fraassen showed in his book, "The Scientific Image", that there are other ways to be an empiricist as it deals with science, without necessarily doing it the way the logical positivists did.
Constructive empiricist also set themselves apart from individual scientists. Van Fraassen believes science is determined to be successful based on the individual or group of scientists who are seeking for that success. On the other hand, constructive empiricists is a "philosophical description of science that seeks to explain how an empiricist can regard the activity of science as consistent with the empiricist's own standards of rational activity" (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 2008).

Monton, Bradley, and Chad Mohler. “Constructive Empiricism.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Stanford University, 17 Jan. 2017, plato.stanford.edu/entries/constructive-empiricism/.
21 Jan 2018
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