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The Instrumentalist's New Clothes

Rowbottom, Darrell P. (2010) The Instrumentalist's New Clothes. In: [2010] Philosophy of Science Assoc. 22nd Biennial Mtg (Montréal, QC) > PSA 2010 Contributed Papers.

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    Abstract

    This paper develops a new version of instrumentalism, in light of progress in the realism debate in recent decades, and thereby defends the view that instrumentalism remains a viable philosophical position on science. The key idea is that talk of unobservable objects should be taken literally only when those objects are assigned properties (or described in terms of analogies involving things) with which we are experientially (or otherwise) acquainted. This is derivative from the instrumentalist tradition in so far as the distinction between unobservable and observable is taken to have significance with respect to meaning.


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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Subjects: General Issues > Operationalism/Instrumentalism
    General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
    Conferences and Volumes: [2010] Philosophy of Science Assoc. 22nd Biennial Mtg (Montréal, QC) > PSA 2010 Contributed Papers
    Depositing User: Dr Darrell P. Rowbottom
    Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2010 12:37
    Last Modified: 04 Nov 2010 12:37
    Item ID: 8370
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/8370

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