Incommensurability: The current state of play

Theoria 12 (3):425-45 (1997)
Abstract
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 incommensurability thesis are also examined: (i) the taxonomic version of the incommensurability thesis found in Kuhn's later writings, (ii) Hoyningen-Huene's neo-Kantian interpretation of Kuhn's metaphysics
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Alex Stewart Davies (2013). Kuhn on Incommensurability and Theory Choice. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 44 (4):571-579.
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