Kuhn, Normativity and History and Philosophy of Science

Epistemologia:103-111 (2012)
Abstract
This paper addresses the relationship between the history and philosophy of science by way of the issue of epistemic normativity. After brief discussion of the relationship between history and philosophy of science in Kuhn’s own thinking, the paper focuses on the implications of the history of science for epistemic normativity. There may be historical evidence for change of scientific methodology, which may seem to support a position of epistemic relativism. However, the fact that the methods of science undergo variation does not entail that epistemic justification varies with the methods employed by scientists. In order to arrive at the relativist conclusion, an epistemological argument is required that justification depends upon operative methods. This raises the question of epistemic normativity. Kuhn himself attempted to deal with this question on a number of occasions, but without success. Following brief discussion of Kuhn on this topic, the paper then turns to the treatment of epistemic normativity in the work of Lakatos, Laudan and Worrall. Lakatos and Laudan proposed that particular episodes from the history of science might be employed to adjudicate between alternative theories of method. Such episodes are selected on the basis of value judgements or pre-analytic intuitions, but such value judgements and intuitions are themselves problematic. Laudan later proposed the normative naturalist view that a rule of method is to be evaluated empirically on the basis of its reliability in conducing to a desired cognitive aim. Against this attempt to naturalize meta-methodology, Worrall argued that the normative force of the appeal to past reliability requires an a priori inductive principle. In my view, the problem of epistemic normativity is solved by combining the particularist focus on specific episodes in the history of science with the naturalistic account of the reliability of method.
Keywords Kuhn  epistemic normativity  theory-choice
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 11,085
External links
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
Similar books and articles
Stephen R. Grimm (2009). Epistemic Normativity. In Adrian Haddock, Alan Millar & Duncan Pritchard (eds.), Epistemic Value. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 243-264.
B. Larvor (2003). Why Did Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions Cause a Fuss? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 34 (2):369-390.
Howard Sankey (2011). Epistemic Relativism and the Problem of the Criterion. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (4):562-570.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2012-12-12

Total downloads

15 ( #108,396 of 1,101,657 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #116,934 of 1,101,657 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.