Stances and paradigms: A reflection

Synthese 178 (1):111-119 (2011)
This paper compares and contrasts the concept of a stance with that of a paradigm qua disciplinary matrix, in an attempt to illuminate both notions. First, it considers to what extent it is appropriate to draw an analogy between stances (which operate at the level of the individual) and disciplinary matrices (which operate at the level of the community). It suggests that despite first appearances, a disciplinary matrix is not simply a stance writ large. Second, it examines how we might reinterpret disciplinary matrices in terms of stances, and shows how doing so can provide us with a better insight into non-revolutionary science. Finally, it identifies two directions for future research: “Can the rationality of scientific revolutions be understood in terms of the dynamic between stances and paradigms?” and “Do stances help us to understand incommensurability between disciplinary matrices?”.
Keywords Stances  Paradigms  Normal science  Extraordinary science  Kuhn  van Fraassen
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