Against transcendental empiricism
What is empiricism? There can be no authoritative answer to any such question. A historian of philosophy can at best try to call what is common to philosophers who either identified themselves, or have traditionally been identified, as empiricists. But what has set those philosophers apart from others, and especially from those whom they criticized, may not be captured in common views or doctrines. The historian may, in trying to fix the label, rely tacitly on a view of what philosophical positions are and how they are to be identified. Finally, it is typical of philosophers who decide to range themselves under some pre-existing banner ("empiricism", "pragmatism", "phenomenology") to change the very philosophy they take on, as much as did their historical heroes in their day. I will here try to give a sustained argument about what empiricism cannot be, and then enter upon a tentative exploration of what it should be (taken to be).
van Fraassen, B.C. (1994)., Against transcendental empiricism, in T. J. Stapleton (ed.), The question of hermeneutics, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 309-335.
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