It provides, at once, a compelling argument for empiricism and, in its conclusion, an odd argument for scientific realism. The first part of the book, I think, is the most inspired, and was the most engaging for me. It inspires, at least for me, a skeptical position about the role of mathematical representation when we start to talk about quantum mechanics and other areas where so much of the science is based on positing. Unfortunately, this is the one part of the book that I found fairly uncompelling. Perhaps my skepticism is unfairly caused by the scholastic analogue Bas is using; perhaps he simply needed to give himself more time to unpack the argument so that the entirety of his position could be seen. For those who are interested in the hardcore literature in philosophy of science, whether you end up agreeing more-or-less completely with Bas, or disagreeing completely, or are somewhere in the middle [as I am], the book is an engaging look at one of the areas that is more difficult for contemporary philosophy of science, because it requires a level of mathematical rigor that is difficult to attain.
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Bas van Fraassen
His father, a steam fitter , was forced by the Nazis to work in a factory in Hamburg. After the war, the family reunited and emigrated to Edmonton , in western Canada. He previously taught at Yale University , the University of Southern California , the University of Toronto and, from to , at Princeton University , where he is now emeritus. Philosophical work[ edit ] Philosophy of science[ edit ] Van Fraassen coined the term " constructive empiricism " in his book The Scientific Image, in which he argued for agnosticism about the reality of unobservable entities.
The Scientific Image