more from Wesley Salmon

Single Idea 13067

[catalogued under 14. Science / B. Scientific Theories / 3. Instrumentalism]

Full Idea

There is a centuries-old philosophical tradition, sometimes referred to by the name of 'instrumentalism', that has denied the claim that science has explanatory power. For the instrumentalists there are no scientific explanations.

Gist of Idea

For the instrumentalists there are no scientific explanations


Wesley Salmon (Four Decades of Scientific Explanation [1989], 4.3)

Book Reference

Salmon,Wesley C.: 'Four Decades of Scientific Explanation', ed/tr. Humphreys,Paul [Pittsburgh 2006], p.132

A Reaction

[He quotes Coffa] Presumably it is just a matter of matching the world to the readings on the instruments, aiming at van Fraassen's 'empirical adequacy'. If there are no scientific explanations, does that mean that there are no explanations at all? Daft!