In the first part of this article we will formulate postulates, which must be satisfied by a reasonable concept of emergence. The postulates will articulate conditions of adequacy for an appropriate explication of the concept of emergence. These conditions of adequacy are based primarily upon the philosophical and scientific history of the concept of emergence, in which the intended role of the concept is expressed. In the second part we will discuss and evaluate some candidates for the concept of emergence (...) in light of these conditions of adequacy. (shrink)
In this paper, I will show that the Miracle Argument is unsound if one assumes a certain form of transient underdetermination. For this aim, I will first discuss and formalize several variants of underdetermination, especially that of transient underdetermination, by means of measure theory. I will then formalize a popular and persuasive form of the Miracle Argument that is based on “use novelty”. I will then proceed to the proof that the miracle argument is unsound by means (...) of a mathematical example. Finally, I will expose two hidden presuppositions of the Miracle Argument that make it so immensely though deceptively persuasive. (shrink)
To begin, the so-called ‘selectivity of historical judgment’ is discussed. According to it, writing history requires a comparative criterion of historical relevance. This criterion contains philosophical elements. In Kuhn’s case, the criterion directs historical research and presentation away from Whiggish historiography by postulating a hermeneutic reading of historical sources. This postulate implies some sort of internalism, some sort of rationality of scientific development, and historical realism. To conclude, some consequences of Kuhn’s anti-Whiggism are discussed.Para empezar, se discute la llamada “selectividad (...) del juicio histórico”. De acuerdo con ello, escribir historia requiere un criterio comparativo de relevancia histórica. Este criterio contiene elementos filosóficos. En el caso de Kuhn, el criterio aleja la investigación y la presentación histórica de la historiografía Whig al postular una lectura hermenéutica de las fuentes históricas. Este postulado implica alguna clase de internismo, de racionalidad del desarrollo científico y realismo histórico. Para concluir, se discuten algunas consecuencias de la postura anti-Whig de Kuhn. (shrink)
What are the “costs” of science besides its expected benefits? Specifically, how “tense” does the relation between science and society become in the light of the ever-increasing pressure of the latter on the former? In this paper I am going to discus the increasing global inequality deriving from phenomena such as the “brain drain” and from the problems relative to the relationship between ethics and science. I will conclude by considering the tension that arises out of the disciplinary structure of (...) science and the non-disciplinary structure of the most pressing problems that society is faced with and has to react to. (shrink)
This paper addresses the question of what the nature of science is. I will first make a few preliminary historical and systematic remarks. Next, I shall give an answer to the question that has to be qualified, clarified and justified. Finally, I will compare my answer with alternative answers and draw consequences for the demarcation problem.
The paper discusses how well Kuhn’s general theory of scientific revolutions fits the particular case of the chemical revolution. To do so, I first present condensed sketches of both Kuhn’s theory and the chemical revolution. I then discuss the beginning of the chemical revolution and compare it to Kuhn’s specific claims about the roles of anomalies, crisis and extraordinary science in scientific development. I proceed by comparing some features of the chemical revolution as a whole to Kuhn’s general account. The (...) result will be that Kuhn’s general description of scientific revolutions fits the chemical revolution extraordinarily well. However, this result should not be taken as an empirical confirmation of Kuhn’s theory, but rather as an indication that the chemical revolution is a constitutive part of it. (shrink)
The volume is a collection of essays devoted to the analysis of scientific change and stability. It explores the balance and tension that exist between commensurability and continuity on the one hand, and incommensurability and discontinuity on the other. Moreover, it discusses some central epistemological consequences regarding the nature of scientific progress, rationality and realism. In relation to these topics, it investigates a number of new avenues, and revisits some familiar issues, with a focus on the history and philosophy of (...) physics, and an emphasis on developments in cognitive sciences as well as on the claims of “new experimentalists”.The book constitutes fully revised versions of papers which were originally presented at the international colloquium held at the University of Nancy, France, in June 2004. Each paper is followed by a critical commentary. The conference was a striking example of the sort of genuine dialogue that can take place between philosophers of science, historians of science and scientists who come from different traditions and endorse opposing commitments. This is one of the attractions of the volume. (shrink)
The paper discusses some aspects of the relationship between Feyerabend and Kuhn. First, some biographical remarks concerning their connections are made. Second, four characteristics of Feyerabend and Kuhn's concept of incommensurability are discussed. Third, Feyerabend's general criticism of Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions is reconstructed. Forth and more specifically, Feyerabend's criticism of Kuhn's evaluation of normal science is critically investigated. Finally, Feyerabend's re-evaluation of Kuhn's philosophy towards the end of his life is presented.
The essay begins with a detailed consideration of the introduction of incommensurability by Feyerabend in 1962 which exposes several historically inaccurate claims about incommensurability. Section 2 is a coneise argument against causal theories of reference as used as arguments against incommensurability. We object to this strategy because it begs the question by presupposing realism. Section 3 introduces and discusses a hypothesis that w'e call meta-incommensurability which provides the reason for the wide-spread accusation of question-begging and use of circular argumentation among (...) the proponents of both realist and non-realist interpretations of science. (shrink)
Few philosophers of science have influenced as many readers as Thomas S. Kuhn. Yet no comprehensive study of his ideas has existed--until now. In this volume, Paul Hoyningen-Huene examines Kuhn's work over four decades, from the days before The Structure of Scientific Revolutions to the present, and puts Kuhn's philosophical development in a historical framework. Scholars from disciplines as diverse as political science and art history have offered widely differing interpretations of Kuhn's ideas, appropriating his notions of paradigm shifts and (...) revolutions to fit their own theories, however imperfectly. Hoyningen-Huene does not merely offer another interpretation--he brings Kuhn's work into focus with rigorous philosophical analysis. Through extended discussions with Kuhn and an encyclopedic reading of his work, Hoyningen-Huene looks at the problems and justifications of his claims and determines how his theories might be expanded. Most significantly, he discovers that The Structure of Scientific Revolutions can be understood only with reference to the historiographic foundation of Kuhn's philosophy. Discussing the concepts of paradigms, paradigm shifts, normal science, and scientific revolutions, Hoyningen-Huene traces their evolution to Kuhn's experience as a historian of contemporary science. From here, Hoyningen-Huene examines Kuhn's well-known thesis that scientists on opposite sides of a revolutionary divide "work in different worlds," explaining Kuhn's notion of a world-change during a scientific revolution. He even considers Kuhn's most controversial claims--his attack on the distinction between the contexts of discovery and justification and his notion of incommensurability--addressing both criticisms and defenses of these ideas. Destined to become the authoritative philosophical study of Kuhn's work, Reconstructing Scientific Revolutions both enriches our understanding of Kuhn and provides powerful interpretive tools for bridging Continental and Anglo-American philosophical traditions. (shrink)
The paper deals with the interrelations between the philosophy, sociology and historiography of science in Thomas Kuhn’s theory of scientific development. First, the historiography of science provides the basis for both the philosophy and sociology of science in the sense that the fundamental questions of both disciplines depend on the principles of the form of historiography employed. Second, the fusion of the sociology and philosophy of science, as advocated by Kuhn, is discussed. This fusion consists essentially in a replacement of (...) methodological rules by cognitive values that influence the decisions of scientific communities. As a consequence, the question of the rationality of theory choice arises, both with respect to the actual decisions and to the possible justification of cognitive values and their change. (shrink)
Summary The paper deals with the interrelations among philosophy, sociology, and historiography of science in Thomas Kuhn's theory of scientific development. First, historiography of science provides the basis for both philosophy and sociology of science in the sense that the fundamental questions of both disciplines depend on the principles of the form of historiography employed. Second, the fusion of sociology and philosophy of science, as advocated by Kuhn, is discussed. This fusion consists essentially in a replacement of methodological rules by (...) cognitive values that influence the decisions of scientific communities. As a consequence, the question of the rationality of theory choice arises, both with respect to the actual decisions and to the possible justification of cognitive values and their change. (shrink)