Bas van Fraassen

Timeline created by DdurElaina
  • Birth

    Bas van Fraassen was born in Goes, Netherlands during the time when it was German-occupied. His was a steam fitter who was forced to work in a Nazi constructed factory in Hamburg. When the war was over his family emigrated to Edmonton, Canada in 1956.
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    Van Fraassen started his career in the Philosophy of Science with earning his B.A at the University of Alberta, then later is M.A and Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh. He is an active member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (since 1955) and the International Academy of Philosophy of Science, as well as a adult covert to the Roman Catholic Church.
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    The philosophical logic phase

    His philosophical life can be categorized into 3 different phases, this being the first. He articulated the development of guided techniques from philosophical logic, centered around accommodating logical paradoxes. He also illustrated his early work in the space-time theories and developed semantics of free logic, avoiding the commitment to nonexistent objects.
    van Fraassen, Bas (1941–) ." Encyclopedia of Philosophy. . 5 Aug. 2020
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    The Constructive empiricist period

    In this phase, he was able to construct the empiricist alternative to scientific realism he encountered after acknowledging problems created from the first phase. He took scientific theories literally while opposing scientific realism; developed a new version of the semantic approach thus articulates a theory of pragmatics of explanation that wont require scientific theories.
    van Fraassen, Bas (1941–) ." Encyclopedia of Philosophy. . 5 Aug. 2020
  • The Scientific Image

    One of van Fraassens most distinguished successful books, this book aim is to develop an empiricist alternative to both positivism and scientific realism. This book is offered through Oxford University Press,, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, and IndieBound. It can also be found on Google books via the link provided:
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    Teaching Philosophy

    Van Fraassen lectured students at Yale University, University of Southern California, University of Toronto, and the Princeton University. At Princeton he was the McCosh Professor of Philosophy Emeritus.
    “Bastiaan Cornelius Van Fraassen | Dean of the Faculty.” Princeton University, The Trustees of Princeton University, 2008,
  • The Empirical Stance Phase

    After publishing "Laws of Symmetry" (1989) and "Quantum Mechanics: An Empiricist View" (1991) one general question was proposed, "how is it possible to be an empiricist instead of just developing an empiricist approach to science?" The answer we have is that empiricism viewed as a stance, like an attitude or epistemic policy (2002).
    van Fraassen, Bas (1941–) ." Encyclopedia of Philosophy. . 5 Aug. 2020
  • Kira Institute

    Kira Institute
    Van Fraassen is one of the founders of Kira Institute. His other collegues include Piet Hut, Roger Shepard, Steven Tainer, and Arthur Zajonc. Established in 1997, the Kira Institute conducted annual summer schools at Amherst College (1998-2002) giving graduate students the opportunity bring together a range of scientific fields. Some of the guest speakers included Geshe Thupten Jinpa, Erazim Kohák, Elisabeth Lloyd, Brian Cantwell Smith, Elizabeth spelke, Lynn Margulis, and David Abram.
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    Kira Café

    A creation from the Kira Institute, it was a virtual world of Second Life which allowed different workshops to be hosted on various subjects. The philosophy of this café followed in the same terms as Café Scientifique - to bring science back into culture.
  • Current employment

    Current employment
    After leaving Princeton University, he currently holds the Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at San Francisco State University. In 1995 he was awarded the Howard T. Behrman Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Humanities at Princeton and in 2012 he was awarded the Philosophy of Science Association's inaugural Hempel Award for his lifetime achievement in the philosophy of science.