In the tracks of the historicist movement: Re-assessing the Carnap-Kuhn connection

Thirty years after the publication of Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, sharp disagreement persists concerning the implications of Kuhn’s "historicist" challenge to empiricism. I discuss the historicist movement over the past thirty years, and the extent to which the discourse between two branches of the historical school has been influenced by tacit assumptions shared with Rudolf Carnap’s empiricism. I begin with an examination of Carnap’s logicism --his logic of science-- and his 1960 correspondence with Kuhn. I focus on problems in the analysis applied to the unit of metascientific study or appraisal, arguing for a reassessment of historicist treatment of the internal/external distinction and historiographic meta-methodology. The critique of objectivism and relativism that eventuates from this re-assessment is a double-edged blade, undercutting both objectivist and relativist treatments of cognitive evaluation and scientific change. I use it to cut across an otherwise diverse group of historicist-influenced writers, including Imre Lakatos, Larry Laudan, H. M. Collins, Stephen Stich. I. Introduction..
Keywords cognitive values  historicism  Imre Lakatos  Thomas Kuhn  Rudolph Carnap  Larry Laudan
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1016/0039-3681(93)90027-H
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Rudolf Carnap (1950). Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology. Revue Internationale de Philosophie 4 (2):20--40.
Rudolf Carnap (1936). Testability and Meaning. Philosophy of Science 3 (4):419-471.
Larry Laudan (1990). Demystifying Underdetermination. In C. Wade Savage (ed.), Scientific Theories. University of Minnesota Press 267-97.
Ernan McMullin (1982). Values in Science. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1982 (4):3 - 28.
Karl Popper (1996). The Myth of the Framework. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47 (1):149-151.

View all 27 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Thomas Uebel (2011). Carnap and Kuhn: On the Relation Between the Logic of Science and the History of Science. [REVIEW] Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 42 (1):129 - 140.
J. C. Pinto de Oliveira (2007). Carnap, Kuhn, and Revisionism: On the Publication of Structure in Encyclopedia. [REVIEW] Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 38 (1):147-157.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

66 ( #51,671 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

4 ( #183,615 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.