The paper examines Dickson’s (1999) question how it is possible to hold the theory-laden observation thesis and, at the same time, to uphold the thesis of the empirical equivalence of theories. After the elucidation of several semantic distinctions we propose the definitions of empirical equivalence of expressions and theories, respectively. In the next step, we scrutinize the theory-ladenness thesis more closely and propose three distinct, but related, specifications of it. Finally, we reconsider the two theses in question order to show that they could be interpreted as fully compatible.
Observation, Referent, The empirical equivalence of theories thesis, The theory-ladenness of observation thesis, The underdetermination thesis