Reality and Rationality by Wesley C. Salmon PDF

By Wesley C. Salmon

ISBN-10: 0195177843

ISBN-13: 9780195177848

ISBN-10: 0195181956

ISBN-13: 9780195181951

This quantity of articles (most released, a few new) is a follow-up to the past due Wesley C. Salmon's broadly learn assortment Causality And rationalization (OUP 1998). It comprises either released and unpublished articles, and makes a speciality of similar components of inquiry: First, is technology a rational firm? Secondly, does technological know-how yield goal information regarding our international, even the points that we won't realize without delay? Salmon's personal take is that target wisdom of the area is feasible, and his paintings in those articles facilities round proving that this is often so. Salmon's influential status within the box guarantees that this quantity might be of curiosity to either undergraduates philosophers, essentially within the philosophy of technology.

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Many terrestrial observations can be made with telescopes to reinforce the point even more. Taking a wide variety of such observational evidence, as well as observations of refraction of light rays by glass (Snell’s law was established empirically early in the seventeenth century), we can develop geometrical optics, which furnishes a theory of the behavior of such instruments of observation. If that theory is correct it explains the phenomena we have been describing and it provides scientific justification for inferences to the existence and properties of objects unobservable to the naked eye.

11 I now think, however, that this was a misinterpretation. Carnap does not say anything about the existence of unobservable entities; he comments only on the scientific vocabulary. Referring to the views expressed in his 1950a article, ‘‘Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology,’’ we can understand Carnap as saying that Hempel has addressed an external question, not in a metaphysical way but rather in a pragmatic sense. He has shown that a linguistic framework incorporating the theoretical vocabulary is better suited practically than is a language lacking such vocabulary for purposes of doing science.

Then we look at the tiny disc through any kind of microscope and see exactly the same shapes and letters as were drawn in the large by the first draftsman. It is impossible seriously to entertain the thought that the minute disc, which I am holding by a pair of tweezers, does not in fact have the structure of a labeled grid. I know that what I see through the microscope is veridical because we made the grid to be just that way. (316–317) Such considerations provide strong confirmation of the theory of the instrument and in consequence to the claim that microscopes inform us about things too small to be observed with unaided human senses.

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Reality and Rationality by Wesley C. Salmon


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