The Empirical Stance
What is empiricism and what could it be? Bas C. van Fraassen, one of the world's foremost contributors to philosophical logic and the philosophy of science, here undertakes a fresh consideration of these questions and offers a program for renewal of the empiricist tradition. The empiricist tradition is not and could not be defined by common doctrines, but embodies a certain stance in philosophy, van Fraassen says. This stance is displayed first of all in a searing, recurrent critique of metaphysics, and second in a focus on experience that requires a voluntarist view of belief and opinion.
Van Fraassen focuses on the philosophical problems of scientific and conceptual revolutions and on the not unrelated ruptures between religious and secular ways of seeing or conceiving of ourselves. He explores what it is to be or not be secular and points the way toward a new relationship between secularism and science within philosophy.
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Against Analytic Metaphysics
1 Living with a Dead Metaphysics
2 Ontology Reborn
3 Does the World Exist?
4 A Spectrum of Theories
5 Scientific Steps Beyond Science?
6 The Form of Success and Its Failure
7 A Dilemma for the Conscientious
2 Criteria for Royal Succession in Science
EMPIRICIST FUNDAMENTALISM AND THE OPEN FUTURE
3 Feyerbands Critique of Classical Empiricism
4 The Argument Hoist on Its Own Petard?
Undermining the Analogy
The Problem of Epistemic Frailty and Sin
TOLERATING AMBIGUITY THE INEXHAUSTIBLE UNFATHOMABLE HISTORICAL SELF
7 The Uses of an Unfollowable Rule
8 A World Well Lost
What Is Empiricism and What Could It Be?
2 History of the Word Empiricism
The Defining Criterion
4 Immediate Inadequacy of the Criterion
The Recurrent Rebellion
WHAT EMPIRICISM CANNOT BE
Doomed to Vicious Circle or Infinite Regress?
Why Stonewalling Cant Work
What Separates Empiricists from Metaphysicians?
11 The Stance as Will and Idea
EXAMPLE OF A STANCE MISUNDERSTOOD MATERIALISM
12 Is This a Factual Claim?
14 Two Moves for Materialists
Whatever It Takes
15 Materialism as False Consciousness
16 Materialism Without False Consciousness?
FIVE WHAT COULD PHILOSOPHY BE THEN?
Scientific RevolutionConversion as a Philosophical Problem
OUR REJECTEDCELEBRATED PAST
1 Epistemic Trauma Revolution Conversion
2 The Problem of Radical Conversion as a Criterion of Adequacy
TWO FRAMEWORKS FOR SOLUTION
4 Objectifying Epistemology
5 Voluntarism in Epistemology
Wilfrid Sellarss Irenic Axiology
William Jamess Epistemic Imperatives
Not Yet Solved
THE IMPASSE ENTER EMOTION
Conditions for Revolution
8 Pascals Wager and Its Limits
9 Scientific RevolutionConversion as a Decision Problem
Breaking the Decision Paradigm
11 No Exit?
Experience Epistemic Life Without Foundations
INTERPRETING THE PAST
Our Deconstructible Language
Bohm Versus the Copenhagen School
Our Redeeming Weaknesses
Science as Representation and Interpretation
Scientific RevolutionConversion in Perspective
What Is Science and What Is It to Be Secular?
ONE WHAT IS SCIENCE?
2 Objectification as Characteristic of Science
Science in the Wildest Sense?
Is Genuine Novelty Possible?
Does Science Automatically Involve Completeness Claims?
How General Is This Concept of Objectifying Inquiry?
Are There Nonobjectifying Forms of Inquiry
The Recurring RealistAntirealist Break
TWO SO WHAT IS IT TO BE SECULAR
6 Secularization of World Picture
7 Existential Response
Emil Fackenheim Gods Presence in History
Martin Buber The Eclipse of God
Rudolf Bultmann New Testament and Mythology
8 Persons Encounter with the Divine
9 Stranger in a Strange Land
A History of the Name Empiricism
Classifying Philosophical Currents
An Alternative Classification of Philosophies
5 Emergence of the Textbook Classification
The Difficulties About Experience Husserl Dewey
8 Reichenbachs View of the History of Empiricism
Reichenbachs Third Way
Drawing on Science the Right Way
Bultmanns Theology Is Not a Philosophy
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