David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Acta Biotheoretica 31 (4) (1982)
The origins of the ‘incommensurability problem’ and its central aspect, the ‘meaning variance thesis’ are traced to the successive collapse of several distinctions maintained by the standard empiricist account of meaning in scientific theories. The crucial distinction is that between a conceptual structure and a theory. The ‘thesis’ and the ‘problem’ follow from critiques of this distinction by Duhem, Quine and Feyerabend. It is maintained that, rather than revealing the ‘problem’, the arguments leading to it simply show the inadequacy of the reductionist theory of meaning. The genuine remaining problem is that of the development of a new theory of meaning in science.
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David Gooding (1986). How Do Scientists Reach Agreement About Novel Observations? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 17 (2):205-230.
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