David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Erkenntnis 70 (3):331 - 364 (2009)
The incommensurability thesis, as introduced by T.S. Kuhn and P.K. Feyerabend, states that incommensurable theories are conceptually incompatible theories which share a common domain of application. Such claim has often been regarded as incoherent, since it has been understood that the determination of a common domain of application at least requires a certain degree of conceptual compatibility between the theories. The purpose of this work is to contribute to the defense of the notion of local or gradual incommensurability, as proposed by late Kuhn. The application of this notion would allow to render the incommensurability thesis coherent. To support this view, a typical example of incommensurability will be formally analyzed by applying the structuralist metatheory developed, among others by W. Balzer, C.U. Moulines and J.D. Sneed. The structural reconstruction of the relation between the phlogiston theory and the oxygen theory offered here will reveal that they are locally incommensurable, and will even make possible to determine the ontological reduction relation that they also exemplify.
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References found in this work BETA
Paul Feyerabend (1977). Changing Patterns of Reconstruction. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 28 (4):351-369.
Paul K. Feyerabend (1962). Explanation, Reduction and Empiricism. In H. Feigl and G. Maxwell (ed.), Scientific Explanation, Space, and Time, (Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science, Volume III).
Thomas S. Kuhn (1982). Commensurability, Comparability, Communicability. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1982:669 - 688.
Thomas S. Kuhn (1976). Theory-Change as Structure-Change: Comments on the Sneed Formalism. Erkenntnis 10 (2):179 - 199.
Thomas S. Kuhn (1996/2012). The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. University of Chicago Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Soazig Le Bihan (2012). Defending the Semantic View: What It Takes. [REVIEW] European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (3):249-274.
Christian Damböck (2014). Kuhn's Notion of Scientific Progress: “Reduction” Between Incommensurable Theories in a Rigid Structuralist Framework. Synthese 191 (10):2195-2213.
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