Two major problems have challenged empiricist views in the philosophy of science from Carnap through Quine to van Fraassen: the problem of finding a principled way of distinguishing observable and unobservable entities and of explaining what is epistemically special about observation. In this chapter, I argue that, by articulating four key features of observation, it’s possible to (i) provide a distinction between the observable and the unobservable, (ii) explain what is special about observation, while (iii) avoiding the familiar charges that previous attempts at drawing the observable/unobservable distinction have faced. This offers a novel way to approach an empiricist account of observation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities(all)