Kuhn on reference and essence

Philosophia Scientiae 8 (1):39-71 (2004)
Abstract
Kuhn's incommensurability thesis seems to challenge scientific realism. One response to that challenge is to focus on the continuity of reference. The casual theory of reference in particular seems to offer the possibility of continuity of reference that woud provide a basis for the sort of comparability between theories that the realist requires. In "Dubbing and Redubbing: the vulnerability of rigid designation" Kuhn attacks the causal theory and the essentialism to which is is related. Kuhn's view is defended by Rupert Read and Wes Sharrock. In this paper I examine the arguments presented by Kaul, Read and Sharrock and show that they provide no reason to doubt either the causal theory or essentialism.
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