Bas van Fraassen

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  • Bas van Fraassen

    Bas van Fraassen
    Bas van Fraassen is a Dutch-American philosopher, and was born in 1941 in the then German-occupied Netherlands. He has a B.A. from the University of Alberta, and a M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh. He currently teaches classes at San Francisco State University, and has taught at Yale, Princeton, USC, and the University of Toronto. Van Fraassen has long been a contributor to the philosophy of science.
  • The Scientific Image

    The Scientific Image
    In 1980 van Fraassenn published his book "The Scientific Image" in which he coined the term "constructive empiricism." Van Fraassen defines the view as follows: "Science aims to give us theories which are empirically adequate; and acceptance of a theory involves as belief only that it is empirically adequate."
    With this doctrine, van Fraassen is widely credited with rehabilitating scientific anti-realism. Learn more about constructive empiricism here:
  • Lakatos Award

    Lakatos Award
    In 1986, van Fraassen won the Lakatos Award, and award named after Imre Lakatos, and endowed by the Latsis Foundation. It is awarded annually to somebody who has made great contribution to the philosophy of science community in the form of a book published in English within the last six years. Van Fraassen recieved this award for his work "The Scientific Image."
  • Laws and Symmetry

    Laws and Symmetry
    Bas van Fraassen published "Laws and Symmetry" in 1989. In the book van Fraassen rejects the argument that there are laws of nature, or that we must believe there are. The book further builds upon the empiricist view of science previously described in his work.
  • Scientific Representation: Paradoxes of Perspective

    Scientific Representation: Paradoxes of Perspective
    The most recent book van Fraassen has published, "Scientific Representation: Paradoxes of Perspective" presents a new way of looking at science. He considers scientific measurement outcomes as representations. In the book he mentions many paradoxes that have come up in contemporary science, as well as makes a complex analysis between appearance and reality in the scientific world.