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
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References found in this work BETA
G. S. Axtell (1990). Logicism, Pragmatism, and Metascience: Towards a Pancritical Pragmatic Theory of Meta-Level Discourse. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1990:39 - 49.
Mario Biagioli (1990). The Anthropology of Incommensurability. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 21 (2):183-209.
David Bloor (1981). The Strengths of the Strong Programme. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 11 (2):199.

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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.
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