Constructive Empiricism Without Underdetermination

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Images of Empiricism: essays on science and stances, with a reply by Bas C. van Fraassen, Page: 11-33

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Van Dyck, Maarten
Oxford University Press
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According to a widely shared view, Bas van Fraassen is one of the main proponents of the argument from underdetermination. I argue that this opinion rests on a misreading of the Scientific Image. Van Fraassen’s use of the notion of empirical equivalence has been widely misunderstood. I offer a reconstruction of the main arguments for constructive empiricism, showing how the passages that have been taken to be part of an appeal to the argument from underdetermination should be interpreted. This has obvious implications for the discussions concerning scientific realism.