David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Theoria 12 (3):425-445 (1997)
The incommensurability thesis is the thesis that the content of some alternative scientific theories is incomparable due to translation failure between the vocabulary the theories employ. This paper presents an overview of the main issues which have arisen in the debate about incommensurability. It also briefly outlines a response to the thesis based on a modified causal theory of reference which allows change of reference subsequent to initial baptism, as well as a role to description in the determination of reference. On such a view. the content of theories may be compared on the basis of shared reference, despite failure of translation. Two recent developments involving the incomnensurability thesis are also examined: (i) the taxonomic version of the incomensurability thesis found in Kuhn’s later writings. (ii) Hoyningen-Huenc’s neo-Kantian interpretation of Kuhn’s metaphysics
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
Eric Oberheim (2005). On the Historical Origins of the Contemporary Notion of Incommensurability: Paul Feyerabend's Assault on Conceptual Conservatism. Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science 36 (2):363-90.
Paul Hoyningen-Huene & Eric Oberheim (2009). Reference, Ontological Replacement and Neo-Kantianism: A Reply to Sankey. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 40 (2):203-209.
Similar books and articles
Howard Sankey (1993). Kuhn's Changing Concept of Incommensurability. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (4):759-774.
S. K. Arun Murthi & Sundar Sarukkai (2009). Multisemiosis and Incommensurability. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 23 (3):297-311.
Alexander Bird (2004). Kuhn on Reference and Essence. Philosophia Scientiae 8 (1):39-71.
Howard Sankey (2000). The Language of Science: Meaning Variance and Theory Comparison. Language Sciences 22 (2):117-136.
Howard Sankey (1998). Taxonomic Incommensurability. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 12 (1):7 – 16.
Howard Sankey (2009). Scientific Realism and the Semantic Incommensurability Thesis. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 40 (2):196-202.
Harold I. Brown (1983). Incommensurability. Inquiry 26 (1):3 – 29.
Howard Sankey (1997). Incommensurability: The Current State of Play. Theoria 12 (3):425-45.
Maria Caamaño (2009). A Structural Analysis of the Phlogiston Case. Erkenntnis 70 (3):331 - 364.
Michael Esfeld (2005). Scientific Realism and the History of Science. Philosophy 1:1-15.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads174 ( #23,208 of 1,932,522 )
Recent downloads (6 months)39 ( #10,697 of 1,932,522 )
How can I increase my downloads?