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But what then am I, this inexhaustible, unfathomable historical self? Or, upon what ground may one commit empiricism?

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This essay examines the perspective from which Bas van Fraassen, in his book, The Empirical Stance, explains the project of empiricism. I argue that this perspective is a robustly transcendental perspective, which suggests that the tradition of empiricism lacks the resources to explain itself. I offer an alternative history of epistemic voluntarism in twentieth-century philosophy to the history van Fraassen himself provides, one that finds the novelty in van Fraassen’s own views to be precisely his reintroduction of the knowing mind into the tradition of analytic philosophy of science.

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Correspondence to Alan Richardson.

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Richardson, A. But what then am I, this inexhaustible, unfathomable historical self? Or, upon what ground may one commit empiricism?. Synthese 178, 143–154 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-009-9523-y

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  • Bas van Fraassen
  • Empiricism
  • Epistemic voluntarism
  • Transcendental philosophy