Comments on Bechler, Niiniluoto and Sadovsky

  • Joseph D. Sneed
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 145)


Bechler’s view of philosophical accounts of empirical science as ‘apologetic’ rather than descriptive I find interesting and challenging. That some philosophers who have offered accounts of empirical science thought the subject of these accounts was a ‘good thing’ and that the accounts are more polemical than descriptive or analytical seems clear. Galileo’s writings on scientific methodology appear to me to have this character. That every account of empirical science from Aristotle to Hempel (and beyond) may accurately be viewed in this way seems considerably less evident. But I could be convinced by a careful study of the texts and their historical context. That philosophical accounts of empirical science must be (in some sense) ‘apologetic’ seems to me to be false. I take this strong version of the ‘apology thesis’ to be the one Bechler is defending.


Scientific Theory Theoretical Concept Theoretical Structure Linguistic Formulation Genetic Property 
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  1. Moulines, C.V.: 1980, ‘An Example of a Theory Frame: Equilibrium Thermodynamics’, in the second volume of these proceedings.Google Scholar
  2. Sneed, J.D.: 1978, ‘Theoritization and Invariance Principles’, in I. Niiniluoto, and R. Tuomela, (eds.). The Logic and Epistemology of Scientific Change, (Acta Philosophical Fennica 30 ), North-Holland, Amsterdam.Google Scholar

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© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1980

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  • Joseph D. Sneed

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