A Realist Theory of Empirical Testing Resolving the Theory-Ladenness/ Objectivity Debate

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Abstract

This article explores whether theory-ladenness makes empirical testing an inse cure foundation for objectivity. Specifically, this article uses path diagrams as visual heuristics to assist in (1) developing a parsimonious representation of the traditional empiricist view of empirical testing, (2) showing how the “New Image” view ostensibly threatens the objectivity of science, (3) proposing a unified, realist theory of empirical testing, (4) developing a representation of the unified theory, (5) exploring several potential threats to objectivity, (6) discussing the proposed theory's implications for social science, and (7) adumbrating three foundational premises for scientific realism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-158
Number of pages26
JournalPhilosophy of the Social Sciences
Volume24
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1994

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