Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Bas C. van Fraassen
Bastiaan Cornelis van Fraassen (born Goes, the Netherlands, 5 April 1941) is a member of the Princeton University Philosophy department, currently in phased retirement. He will finish his phased retirement at the end of the 2007-08 academic year and will then take up a tenured post at San Francisco State University . He previously taught at Yale University, the University of Southern California (USC), and the University of Toronto. He coined the term constructive empiricism in his 1980 book The Scientific Image. Van Fraassen earned his B.A. (1963) from the University of Alberta and his M.A. (1964) and Ph.D. (1966, under the direction of Adolf Grünbaum) from the University of Pittsburgh.
A philosopher of science, van Fraassen's 1989 book Laws and Symmetry attempted to lay the ground-work for explaining physical phenomena without using the assumption that such phenomena are caused by rules or laws which can be said to cause or govern their behavior. Van Fraassen has also done work on the philosophy of quantum mechanics, philosophical logic, and epistemology.
Paul M. Churchland is a vocal critic of van Fraassen, who in his essay "The Anti-Realist Epistemology of Bas van Fraassen's The Scientific Image ", contrasted van Fraassen's idea of unobservable phenomena with the idea of merely unobserved phenomena, among other theories.
Van Fraassen is also known for his pioneering work in philosophical logic.
He is the laureate of the 1986 Lakatos Award for his contributions to the philosophy of science.
Van Fraassen is an adult convert to the Roman Catholic Church. [in: New Blackfriars Vol. 80, No. 938, 1999]

Published books

The Empirical Stance, Yale University Press, 2002.
Quantum Mechanics: An Empiricist View, Oxford University Press, 1991.
Laws and Symmetry, Oxford University Press 1989.

  • French translation and introduction by C. Chevalley. Paris: Vrin, 1994.
    The Scientific Image, Oxford University Press 1980.

    • Co-winner, Franklin J. Matchette Prize for Philosophical Books, 1982.
      Co-winner, Imre Lakatos Award for 1986.
      Italian Edition, with new preface, Bologna 1985.
      Japanese Edition, with new preface, Tokyo 1987.
      Spanish Edition, Mexico, 1995.
      Chinese Edition, Shanghai, 2002
      Derivation and Counterexample: An Introduction to Philosophical Logic (with Karel Lambert), Dickenson Publishing Company, Inc. 1972.
      Formal Semantics and Logic, Macmillan, New York 1971

      • Spanish Translation, Mexico (Universitat Nacional Autonoma de Mexico), tr. J.A. Robles, 1987.
        An Introduction to the Philosophy of Time and Space, Random House, New York 1970.

        • Spanish Translation, Barcelona (Editorial Labor, S.A.), tr. J-P.A. Goicoechea, 1978.
          Second edition, with new preface and postscript. Columbia University Press, 1985.

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