Descartes and the scientific revolution: Some Kuhnian reflections

Perspectives on Science 9 (4):405-422 (2001)
Abstract
: Important to Kuhn's account of scientific change is the observation that when paradigms are in competition with one another, there is a curious breakdown of rational argument and communication between adherents of competing programs. He attributed this to the fact that competing paradigms are incommensurable. The incommensurability thesis centrally involves the claim that there is a deep conceptual gap between competing paradigms in science. In this paper I argue that in one important case of competing paradigms, the Aristotelian explanation of the properties of bodies in terms of matter and form as opposed to the Cartesian mechanist paradigm, where the properties of bodies are explained on the model of machines, there was no such conceptual gap: the notion of a machine was as fully intelligible on the Aristotelian paradigm as it was on the Cartesian. But this does not mean that the debate between the two sides was conducted on purely rational terms. Rational argument breaks down not because of Kuhnian incommensurability, I argue, but because of other cultural factors separating the two camps
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 11,404
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

103 ( #10,972 of 1,102,976 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

26 ( #5,627 of 1,102,976 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.