•  87
    What is Scientific Realism?
    Spontaneous Generations 9 (1): 12-25. 2018.
    Decades of debate about scientific realism notwithstanding, we find ourselves bemused by what different philosophers appear to think it is, exactly. Does it require any sort of belief in relation to scientific theories and, if so, what sort? Is it rather typified by a certain understanding of the rationality of such beliefs? In the following dialogue we explore these questions in hopes of clarifying some convictions about what scientific realism is, and what it could or should be. En route, we e…Read more
  •  220
    A Defence of Van Fraassen’s Critique of Abductive Inference: Reply to Psillos
    with James Ladyman, Igor Douven, and Leon Horsten
    Philosophical Quarterly 47 (188). 1997.
    Psillos has recently argued that van Fraassen’s arguments against abduction fail. Moreover, he claimed that, if successful, these arguments would equally undermine van Fraassen’s own constructive empiricism, for, Psillos thinks, it is only by appeal to abduction that constructive empiricism can be saved from issuing in a bald scepticism. We show that Psillos’ criticisms are misguided, and that they are mostly based on misinterpretations of van Fraassen’s arguments. Furthermore, we argue that Psi…Read more
  •  1
    Updating Probability: Tracking Statistics as Criterion
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (3): 725-743. 2017.
  •  104
    How is Scientific Revolution / Conversion Possible?
    Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 73 63-80. 1999.
  • Laws and Symmetry
    Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 182 (3): 327-329. 1989.
  • 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 metaphys…Read more
  •  182
    On stance and rationality
    Synthese 178 (1). 2011.
  •  45
    Thomason’s Paradox for Belief, and Two Consequence Relations
    Journal of Philosophical Logic 40 (1). 2011.
    Thomason (1979/2010)'s argument against competence psychologism in semantics envisages a representation of a subject's competence as follows: he understands his own language in the sense that he can identify the semantic content of each of its sentences, which requires that the relation between expression and content be recursive. Then if the scientist constructs a theory that is meant to represent the body of the subject's beliefs, construed as assent to the content of the pertinent sentences, …Read more
  •  238
    The physics and metaphysics of identity and individuality Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9463-7 Authors Don Howard, Department of Philosophy and Graduate Program in History and Philosophy of Science, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556, USA Bas C. van Fraassen, Philosophy Department, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132, USA Otávio Bueno, Department of Philosophy, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL 33124, USA Elena Caste…Read more
  •  78
    Reply to Belot, Elgin, and Horsten (review)
    Philosophical Studies 150 (3). 2010.
  •  67
    Scientific realism (SR) emerged in the 1960s as a rival to logical positivism, and soon became the dominant position in philosophy of science. But by the 1990s it had encountered considerable critique and rivals of its own. Stathis Psillos set out to present a thorough, sustained defense of scientific realism in this book, a masterly achievement that still stands today not just as the presentation of a response to critics, but as a solid, coherent philosophical position of his own.
  •  188
  •  4
    ¿Qué son las leyes de la naturaleza?
    Dianoia 31 (31): 211-262. 1985.
  • Report on conditionals
    Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 6 (1): 5-25. 1976.
  •  99
    The Manifest Image and the Scientific Image
    In Diederik Aerts, Jan Broekaert & Ernest Mathijs (eds.), Einstein Meets Magritte: An Interdisciplinary Reflection, Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 29-52. 1999.
    There are striking differences between the scientific theoretical description of the world and the way it seems to us. The consequent task of relating science to ’the world we live in’ has been a problem throughout the history of science. But have we made this an impossibility by how we formulate the problem? Some say that besides the successive world-pictures of science there is the world-picture that preceded all these and continues to exist by their side, elucidated by more humanistic philoso…Read more
  •  291
    `World' is not a count noun
    Noûs 29 (2): 139-157. 1995.
    The word "world" has in fact many ordinary uses as a count noun; I shall discuss some of them below.(2) There is however also a distinctive philosophical use found in recent ontology (in the sense in which Quine reintroduced this term in analytic philosophy, for theories about what there is). As to this philosophical use, I shall argue that there is no reason to think that it refers to anything, if indeed it is intelligible at all
  •  5
  •  48
    Vague expectation value loss
    Philosophical Studies 127 (3). 2006.
    Vague subjective probability may be modeled by means of a set of probability functions, so that the represented opinion has only a lower and upper bound. The standard rule of conditionalization can be straightforwardly adapted to this. But this combination has difficulties which, though well known in the technical literature, have not been given sufficient attention in probabilist or Bayesian epistemology. Specifically, updating on apparently irrelevant bits of news can be destructive of one’s e…Read more
  •  3
    The World we Speak Of, and the Language We Live In
    Philosophie Et Culture: Actes du XVIIe Congrès Mondial de Philosophie 1 213-221. 1986.
  •  70
    Updating Probability: Tracking Statistics as Criterion
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science. 2016.
    ABSTRACT For changing opinion, represented by an assignment of probabilities to propositions, the criterion proposed is motivated by the requirement that the assignment should have, and maintain, the possibility of matching in some appropriate sense statistical proportions in a population. This ‘tracking’ criterion implies limitations on policies for updating in response to a wide range of types of new input. Satisfying the criterion is shown equivalent to the principle that the prior must be a …Read more
  •  171
    Values and the heart's command
    Journal of Philosophy 70 (1): 5-19. 1973.