The 'green cheese’ and ‘red herring’ problems reconsidered

Erik Weber, Raoul Gervais, Jeroen Van Bouwel


In this paper, we show that the so-called “green cheese” and “red herring” problems, which have been raised in connection to Bas van Fraassen’s pragmatic theory of scientific explanation, lead to two theoretical (or epistemological) tasks for philosophers of science and two practical (or methodological) tasks. After clarifying these tasks we argue that the theoretical tasks are extremely difficult. We are pessimistic about their accomplishment and motivate this. The practical/methodological tasks are easier to handle, and we make some substantial contributions with respect to these tasks. Finally, we compare our practical/methodological results to Kareem Khalifa’s hands-on contextualism.


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