A Place for Pragmatism in the Dynamics of Reason?

Abstract. In Dynamics of Reason Michael Friedman proposes a kind of synthesis between the neokantianism of Ernst Cassirer, the logical empiricism of Rudolf Carnap, and the historicism of Thomas Kuhn. Cassirer and Carnap are to take care of the Kantian legacy of modern philosophy of science, encapsulated in the concept of a relativized a priori and the globally rational or continuous evolution of scientific knowledge,while Kuhn´s role is to ensure that the historicist character of scientific knowledge is taken seriously. More precisely, Carnapian linguistic frameworks, guarantee that the evolution of science procedes in a rational manner locally,while Cassirer’s concept of an internally defined conceptual convergence of empirical theories provides the means to maintain the global continuity of scientific reason. In this paper it is argued that Friedman’s neokantian account of scientific reason based on the concept of the relativized a priori underestimates the pragmatic aspects of the dynamics of scientific reason. To overcome this short-coming, I propose to reconsider C.I. Lewis’s account of a pragmatic the priori, recently modernized and elaborated by Hasok Chang. This may be<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>Keywords: Dynamics of reason, Paradigms, Logical Empiricism,Neokantianism, Pragmatism, Mathematics, Communicative Rationality.
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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsa.2011.10.004
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Rudolf Carnap (1950). Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology. Revue Internationale de Philosophie 4 (2):20--40.
Michael Friedman (2003). Kuhn and Logical Empiricism. In Thomas Nickles (ed.), Thomas Kuhn. Cambridge University Press 34.
Thomas S. Kuhn (1979). Metaphor in Science. In A. Ortony (ed.), Metaphor and Thought. Cambridge University Press 409-19.

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