Bas C. van Fraassen

Curriculum Vitae

This is not a CV properly speaking, but a sort of informal equivalent. Below you will find my:

personal and academic history teaching professional activities stories and such

I am a philosopher, and in recent years I have been preoccupied with two philosophical questions, one about philosophy itself, and one about science,
"What Is Empiricism, and What Could It Be?" and "What is Scientific Representation?" I've offered an answer to the first in my The Empirical Stance, and I'm tackling the second in a book I've just finished (anno 2008), Scientific Representation: Paradoxes of Perspective.

Most of my work as a philosopher has been in philosophy of science and in philosophical logic, but with occasional forays into philosophy of literature and the connections between art, literature, and science. Like most philosophers (I think) I began with the ambition to arrive at a coherent view of everything -- some day, within my lifetime -- and I am still cherishing that idea ...

RecentlyI have also been engaging -- and learning from -- two lively currents in philosophy of science. The first is structural realism, introduced originally by John Worrall about fifteen years ago, and now developed in more radical form by e.g. Steven French and James Ladyman. The second is transcendental idealism, which I have come to appreciate through Michel Bitbol and Isabelle Peschard,with whom I've collaborated on a paper on identity and individuation, as seen through both empiricist and transcendentalist eyes.

Personal and Academic History

I was born in Goes, the Netherlands, 5 Ap 1941, and emigrated with my family to Canada in 1956. I attended the University of Alberta (B.A. (hon.), Philosophy, 1963), and the University of Pittsburgh (M.A. 1964; Ph. D., Philosophy, 1966). Here is a link to my CV.pdf.


I've taught at Yale University, the University of Toronto, the University of Southern California, and Princeton University (since 1982). In the summer of 2008 I retired from Princeton and joined the Philosophy Department at San Francisco State University. For details on recent courses and seminars, see links on main page

Professional Activities

I have been active as editor of the Journal of Philosophical Logic and co-editor of the Journal of Symbolic Logic, as well as in the American Philosophical Association, the Philosophy of Science Association, Society for Exact Philosophy, Evert Willem Beth Stichting, Association for Symbolic Logic, and the International Union for History and Philosophy of Science, and as McCosh Professor of Philosophy (Princeton University); D. Lett (hon), (University of Lethbridge); LL. D.(hon),(University of Notre Dame), Ph. D. (hon), (Kath. Univ. Leuven),Foreign Member of the Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences); Titular Member of the Académie Internationale de Philosophie des Sciences; Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy; Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
My Erdös number is 4 (Paul Erdös-Joel Spencer-Nuel Belnap-Hugues Leblanc)

Academic Publications

For the biblio. details for my books and articles, see publications or link to CV.pdf.
But you can also download at least penultimate drafts of many papers on my manuscripts and abstracts page.

Stories and such

Here I'll list my few non-academic publications. For other interests (cats, rock climbing) see link on main page

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