Switching gestalts on gestalt psychology: On the relation between science and philosophy

Perspectives on Science 15 (2):131-177 (2007)
: The distinction between science and philosophy plays a central role in methodological, programmatic and institutional debates. Discussions of disciplinary identities typically focus on boundaries or else on genealogies, yielding models of demarcation and models of dynamics. Considerations of a discipline's self-image, often based on history, often plays an important role in the values, projects and practices of its members. Recent focus on the dynamics of scientific change supplements Kuhnian neat model with a role for philosophy and yields a model of the evolution of philosophy of science. This view illuminates important aspects of science and itself contributes to philosophy of science. This interactive model is general yet based on exclusive attention to physics. In this paper and two sequels, I focus on the human sciences and argue that their role in the history of philosophy of science is just as important and it also involves a close involvement of the history of philosophy. The focus is on Gestalt psychology and it points to some lessons for philosophy of science. But, unlike the discussion of natural sciences, the discussion here brings out more complication than explication, and skews certain kinds of generalizations.
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DOI 10.1162/posc.2007.15.2.131
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Jordi Cat (2011). On Understanding Understanding. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 25 (4):405-411.

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