Philosophy and history of science: Beyond the Kuhnian paradigm

At issue in this paper is the question of the appropriate relationship between the philosophy and history of science. The discussion starts with a brief sketch of Kuhn's approach, followed by an analysis of the so-called 'testing-theories-of-scientific-change programme'. This programme is an attempt at a more rigorous approach to the historical philosophy of science. Since my conclusion is that, by and large, this attempt has failed, I proceed to examine some more promising approaches. First, I deal with Hacking's recent views on the issues in question, particularly his notion of a 'style of reasoning'. Next, Nickle's reconstructionist interpretation of the development of science and his views on Whig history are addressed. Finally, I propose an account of philosophy as a theoretical, an interpretative and explanatory, enterprise. Thus, three alternatives to the Kuhnian paradigm are discussed, alternatives that share a recognition of the relative autonomy of philosophy from history. Hence, they assume a less tight relationship between philosophy and history of science than is the case within the Kuhnian paradigm.
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    References found in this work BETA
    Gary Gutting (1980). Science as Discovery. Revue Internationale de Philosophie 131:26-48.
    Ian Hacking (1992). 'Style' for Historians and Philosophers. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 23 (1):1-20.
    Ian Hacking (1988). Philosophers of Experiment. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1988:147 - 156.

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    Citations of this work BETA
    Hans Radder (2012). What Prospects for a General Philosophy of Science? Journal for General Philosophy of Science 43 (1):89-92.
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