David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Biology and Philosophy 17 (2):155-169 (2002)
Incommensurability of scientific theories, as conceived by Thomas Kuhnand Paul Feyerabend, is thought to be a major or even insurmountable obstacletothe empirical comparison of these theories. I examine this problem in light ofaconcrete case from the history of experimental biology, namely the oxidativephosphorylation controversy in biochemistry (ca. 1961-1977). After a briefhistorical exposition, I show that the two main competing theories which werethe subject of the ox-phos controversy instantiate some of the characteristicfeatures of incommensurable theories, namely translation failure,non-corresponding predictions, and different claims about what kinds ofentitiesexist in the world. By examining how the controversy was eventually resolved, Ithen show that at least this pair of incommensurable theories couldneverthelessbe empirically compared.
|Keywords||Philosophy Philosophy of Biology Evolutionary Biology|
|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
Jacob Stegenga (2013). Evidence in Biology and the Conditions of Success. Biology and Philosophy 28 (6):981-1004.
Similar books and articles
Dale W. Moberg (1979). Are There Rival, Incommensurable Theories? Philosophy of Science 46 (2):244-262.
Howard Sankey (1997). Incommensurability: The Current State of Play. Theoria 12 (3):425-445.
Howard Sankey (2000). The Language of Science: Meaning Variance and Theory Comparison. Language Sciences 22 (2):117-136.
Jed Z. Buchwald & George E. Smith (2001). Incommensurability and the Discontinuity of Evidence. Perspectives on Science 9 (4):463-498.
Maria Caamaño (2009). A Structural Analysis of the Phlogiston Case. Erkenntnis 70 (3):331 - 364.
Howard Sankey (1997). Incommensurability: The Current State of Play. Theoria 12 (3):425-45.
Michael Esfeld (2005). Scientific Realism and the History of Science. Philosophy 1:1-15.
S. K. Arun Murthi & Sundar Sarukkai (2009). Multisemiosis and Incommensurability. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 23 (3):297-311.
John Collier (1984). Pragmatic Incommensurability. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1984:146 - 153.
Harold I. Brown (1983). Incommensurability. Inquiry 26 (1):3 – 29.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads65 ( #33,090 of 1,696,433 )
Recent downloads (6 months)8 ( #68,915 of 1,696,433 )
How can I increase my downloads?