Does Language Determine our Scientific Ideas?

Dialectica 46 (3/4):225-242 (1992)
This paper argues that the influence of language on science, philosophy and other field is mediated by communicative practices. Where communications is more restrictive, established linguistic structures exercise a tighter control over innovations and scientifically motivated reforms of language. The viewpoint here centers on the thesis that argumentation is crucial in the understanding and evaluation of proposed reforms and that social practices which limit argumentation serve to erode scientific objectivity. Thus, a plea is made for a sociology of scientific belief designed to understand and insure social-institutional conditions of the possibility of knowledge and its growth. A chief argument draws on work of Axelrod concerning the evolution of cooperation.
Keywords Language  Science  Determinism
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DOI 10.1111/j.1746-8361.1992.tb00174.x
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