Journal for General Philosophy of Science

, Volume 49, Issue 3, pp 461–466 | Cite as

The “Positive Argument” for Constructive Empiricism and Inference to the Best Explanation

  • Moti MizrahiEmail author


In this paper, I argue that the “positive argument” for Constructive Empiricism (CE), according to which CE “makes better sense of science, and of scientific activity, than realism does” (van Fraassen in The scientific image, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1980, 73), is an Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE). But constructive empiricists are critical of IBE, and thus they have to be critical of their own “positive argument” for CE. If my argument is sound, then constructive empiricists are in the awkward position of having to reject their own “positive argument” for CE by their own lights.


Constructive empiricism Inference to the best explanation Positive argument Scientific realism 



I am grateful to an anonymous reviewer of the Journal for General Philosophy of Science for helpful comments on an earlier draft and to editor, Helmut Pulte.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Arts and CommunicationFlorida Institute of TechnologyMelbourneUSA

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