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date: 16 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Familiar versions of empiricism overemphasize and misconstrue the importance of perceptual experience as a source of scientific knowledge. This chapter discusses their main descriptive and normative shortcomings and sketches an alternative framework for thinking about the contributions of human sensory systems and experimental equipment to scientific knowledge. Rather than assuming that all scientific claims are developed, tested, and modified or rejected in the same way, this chapter suggests that philosophers would do better to look case by case at the epistemic pathways that link the credibility of different scientific claims to different epistemically significant factors.

Keywords: empiricism, perceptual experience, scientific practice, credibility, scientific claim, anthropocentrism, perceptual ultimacy, epistemic purity, scope empiricism, two-term confirmation

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