About this topic
Summary The topics dealt with under this category relate to the general nature of change in the sciences.  Most work in this area has addressed the topic of theory change, which was brought to the forefront of philosophical attention by the "historical turn", associated with such writers as Thomas Kuhn, Paul Feyerabend, Imre Lakatos and Larry Laudan.  A variety of philosophical problems arise in this area, including the question of whether science progresses toward truth, the rationality of choice between theories, the structure of theories, and the possibility of comparing alternative theories.
Key works Current thinking about scientific change may be traced back to  Kuhn 1962, or later editions, e.g. Kuhn 1962.  A valuable collection of essays on the topic is Lakatos & Musgrave 1970.  See, in particular, Imre 1970, for Lakatos's proposal of a methodology of scientific research programs.  Feyerabend 1974 is an influential discussion of the topic, including its implications for methodology.  Laudan 1977 is an important critical discussion of the works of Kuhn and Lakatos, which introduces Laudan's own positive account.  Kitcher 1993 continues the discussion, while introducing important proposals with respect to a realist account of scientific change.
Introductions Chalmers 1982 is an excellent introductory textbook which provides good general coverage of the issues relating to scientific change. See Nickles 2010 for an overview of topics relating to scientific revolutions.  Devitt 1979 is an incisive discussion of the claim that alternative theories are incommensurable.  See Bird 2007 for one proposal about the nature of scientific progress, and Sankey 1995 for some aspects of the problem of the rationality of the choice between theories.
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  1. A Logically Neutral(Ish) Framework for Empirical Testing.Luis Felipe Bartolo Alegre - manuscript
    In this paper, I propose a formal framework for modelling the process of testing empirical statements, hypotheses, theories, and research programmes. Unlike the diverse forms of falsificationism, this framework does not require any commitment to classical logic or to any specific system of logic, as it aims to be useful regardless of the logic we presuppose. On this regard, the paper will focus on how this framework applies to two logical contexts: the classical and the paraconsistent contexts. I will show (...)
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  2. The Unvirtuous Prediction of the Pessimistic Induction.Seungbae Park - 2021 - Filosofija. Sociologija 32 (3):TBD.
    The pessimist predicts that future scientific theories will replace present scientific theories. However, she does not specify when the predicted events will take place, so we do not have the opportunity to blame her for having made a false prediction, although we might have the chance to praise her for having made a true prediction. Her prediction contrasts with the astronomer’s prediction. The astronomer specifies when the next solar eclipse will happen, so we have both the chance to blame her (...)
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  3. On the Argument From Double Spaces: A Reply to Moti Mizrahi.Seungbae Park - 2021 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 10 (2):1-6.
    Van Fraassen infers the truth of the contextual theory from his observation that it has passed a crucial test. Mizrahi infers the comparative truth of our best theories from his observation that they are more successful than their competitors. Their inferences require, according to the argument from double spaces, the prior belief that it is more likely that their target theories were pulled out from the T-space than from the O-space. The T-space is the logical space of unconceived theories whose (...)
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  4. Philosophy of Nature, Written by Feyerabend, P., Edited by Heit, H. & Oberheim, E. And Translated by Lotter, D. [REVIEW]Diego Morales - 2020 - History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis 23 (2):515-522.
    Book review of Paul Feyerabend's "Philosophy of Nature". || Reseña del libro "Philosophy of Nature", escrito por Paul Feyerabend.
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  5. Understanding Stability in Cognitive Neuroscience Through Hacking's Lens.Jacqueline Anne Sullivan - 2021 - Philosophical Inquiries (1):189-208.
    Ian Hacking instigated a revolution in 20th century philosophy of science by putting experiments (“interventions”) at the top of a philosophical agenda that historically had focused nearly exclusively on representations (“theories”). In this paper, I focus on a set of conceptual tools Hacking (1992) put forward to understand how laboratory sciences become stable and to explain what such stability meant for the prospects of unity of science and kind discovery in experimental science. I first use Hacking’s tools to understand sources (...)
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  6. Phylogenetic Inference, Selection Theory, and History of Science: Selected Papers of A. W. F. Edwards with Commentaries.Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther - 2018 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    A. W. F. Edwards is one of the most influential mathematical geneticists in the history of the discipline. One of the last students of R. A. Fisher, Edwards pioneered the statistical analysis of phylogeny in collaboration with L. L. Cavalli-Sforza, and helped establish Fisher's concept of likelihood as a standard of statistical and scientific inference. In this book, edited by philosopher of science Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther, Edwards's key papers are assembled alongside commentaries by leading scientists, discussing Edwards's influence on their (...)
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  7. Institutions and Scientific Progress.C. Mantzavinos - 2020 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences (3).
    Scientific progress has many facets and can be conceptualized in different ways, for example in terms of problem-solving, of truthlikeness or of growth of knowledge. The main claim of the paper is that the most important prerequisite of scientific progress is the institutionalization of competition and criticism. An institutional framework appropriately channeling competition and criticism is the crucial factor determining the direction and rate of scientific progress, independently on how one might wish to conceptualize scientific progress itself. The main intention (...)
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  8. Meeting the Brain on its Own Terms.Philipp Haueis - 2014 - Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 815 (8).
    In contemporary human brain mapping, it is commonly assumed that the “mind is what the brain does”. Based on that assumption, task-based imaging studies of the last three decades measured differences in brain activity that are thought to reflect the exercise of human mental capacities (e.g., perception, attention, memory). With the advancement of resting state studies, tractography and graph theory in the last decade, however, it became possible to study human brain connectivity without relying on cognitive tasks or constructs. It (...)
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  9. Classification, Kinds, Taxonomic Stability, and Conceptual Change.Jaipreet Mattu & Jacqueline Anne Sullivan - forthcoming - Aggression and Violent Behavior.
    Scientists represent their world, grouping and organizing phenomena into classes by means of concepts. Philosophers of science have historically been interested in the nature of these concepts, the criteria that inform their application and the nature of the kinds that the concepts individuate. They also have sought to understand whether and how different systems of classification are related and more recently, how investigative practices shape conceptual development and change. Our aim in this paper is to provide a critical overview of (...)
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  10. The Material Theory of Induction at the Frontiers of Science.William Peden - forthcoming - Episteme:1-17.
    According to John D. Norton's Material Theory of Induction, all reasonable inductive inferences are justified in virtue of background knowledge about local uniformities in nature. These local uniformities indicate that our samples are likely to be representative of our target population in our inductions. However, a variety of critics have noted that there are many circumstances in which induction seems to be reasonable, yet such background knowledge is apparently absent. I call such an absence of circumstances ‘the frontiers of science', (...)
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  11. Has Science Established That the Universe is Physically Comprehensible?Nicholas Maxwell - 2013 - In A. Travena & B. Soen (eds.), Recent Advances in Cosmology. New York, USA: Nova Science. pp. 1-56.
    Most scientists would hold that science has not established that the cosmos is physically comprehensible – i.e. such that there is some as-yet undiscovered true physical theory of everything that is unified. This is an empirically untestable, or metaphysical thesis. It thus lies beyond the scope of science. Only when physics has formulated a testable unified theory of everything which has been amply corroborated empirically will science be in a position to declare that it has established that the cosmos is (...)
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  12. Jutta Schickore. About Method: Experimenters, Snake Venom, and the History of Writing Scientifically. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2017. Pp. 316. $50.00 . ISBN 978-0-226-44998-2. [REVIEW]Laura Georgescu - 2019 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 9 (2):410-415.
  13. Conceptual Analysis in the Philosophy of Science.Martin Zach - 2019 - Balkan Journal of Philosophy 11 (2):107-124.
    Conceptual analysis as a method of inquiry has long enjoyed popularity in analytic philosophy, including the philosophy of science. In this article I offer a perspective on the ways in which the method of conceptual analysis has been used, and distinguish two broad kinds, namely philosophical and empirical conceptual analysis. In so doing I outline a historical trend in which non-naturalized approaches to conceptual analysis are being replaced by a variety of naturalized approaches. I outline the basic characteristics of these (...)
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  14. Realist Representations of Particles: The Standard Model, Top-Down and Bottom-Up.Anjan Chakravartty - forthcoming - In Timothy D. Lyons & Peter Vickers (eds.), Contemporary Scientific Realism: The Challenge from the History of Science.
    Much debate about scientific realism concerns the issue of whether it is compatible with theory change over time. Certain forms of ‘selective realism’ have been suggested with this in mind. Here I consider a closely related challenge for realism: that of articulating how a theory should be interpreted at any given time. In a crucial respect the challenges posed by diachronic and synchronic interpretation are the same; in both cases, realists face an apparent dilemma. The thinner their interpretations, the easier (...)
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  15. From a Boson to the Standard Model Higgs: A Case Study in Confirmation and Model Dynamics.Cristin Chall, Martin King, Peter Mättig & Michael Stöltzner - forthcoming - Synthese:1-33.
    Our paper studies the anatomy of the discovery of the Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider and its influence on the broader model landscape of particle physics. We investigate the phases of this discovery, which led to a crucial reconfiguration of the model landscape of elementary particle physics and eventually to a confirmation of the standard model. A keyword search of preprints covering the electroweak symmetry breaking sector of particle physics, along with an examination of physicists own understanding of (...)
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  16. Rationality, Scientific and Otherwise: A Crocean Approach.Maurice A. Finocchiaro - 1983 - der 16. Weltkongress Für Philosophie 2:490-497.
    A constructive interpretation is given of Paul Feyerabend's philosophy'of science as being not really irrationalistic but only pseudo-irrationalistic, and as being in need of an account of how science is distinct and how related to other activities. To this end, Benedetto Croce's philosophy is considered, constructively criticized, and shown to be unexpectedly promising; its valuable element is not the instrumentalistic theory of science officially present in his Logica but the distinctionism-relationism that he practiced everywhere and especially in his literary criticism. (...)
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  17. Aspekte des Wissenschaftlichen Fortschritts.Matthias Kaiser - 1993 - Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.
    Die philosophische Diskussion des Begriffes wissenschaftlicher Fortschritt hat sich als schwieriger erwiesen, als es die Philosophen der ersten Hälfte unseres Jahrhunderts sich noch vorgestellt haben. Spätestens seit den Arbeiten Thomas Kuhns ist hierzu eine lebhafte Diskussion entbrannt. Die vorliegende Studie schlägt ein grundsätzliches Neudenken zu diesem Thema vor. Neuere Beiträge, wie der Falsifikationismus, Strukturalismus, Naturalismus und Realismus werden kritisch diskutiert. Es wird dann versucht, der realen Wissenschaftsgeschichte angepasst einen neuen Ausgangspunkt für wissenschaftstheoretisches Denken zu erarbeiten. Eine ausführliche Untersuchung der Geschichte (...)
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  18. HUMPHREYS, Willard C.-"Anomalies and Scientific Theories". [REVIEW]R. G. Swinburne - 1969 - Philosophy 44:166.
  19. Theory-Ladenness of Perception Arguments.Michael A. Bishop - 1992 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992:287 - 299.
    The theory-ladenness of perception argument is not an argument at all. It is two clusters of arguments. The first cluster is empirical. These arguments typically begin with a discussion of one or more of the following psychological phenomena: (a) the conceptual penetrability of the visual system, (b) voluntary perceptual reversal of ambiguous figures, (c) adaptation to distorting lenses, or (d) expectation effects. From this evidence, proponents of theory-ladenness typically conclude that perception is in some sense "laden" with theory. The second (...)
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  20. Constructing Copernicus.Peter Barker - 2002 - Perspectives on Science 10 (2):208-227.
    : This paper offers my current view of a joint research project, with Bernard R. Goldstein, that examines Kepler's unification of physics and astronomy. As an organizing theme, I describe the extent to which the work of Kepler led to the appearance of the form of Copernicanism that we accept today. In the half century before Kepler's career began, the understanding of Copernicus and his work was significantly different from the modern one. In successive sections I consider the modern conception (...)
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  21. Waves, Particles, and Explanatory Coherence.Chris Eliasmith & Paul Thagard - 1997 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 48 (1):1-19.
    Peter Achinstein (1990, 1991) analyses the scientific debate that took place in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries concerning the nature of light. He offers a probabilistic account of the methods employed by both particle theorists and wave theorists, and rejects any analysis of this debate in terms of coherence. He characterizes coherence through reference to William Whewell's writings concerning how "consilience of inductions" establishes an acceptable theory (Whewell, 1847) . Achinstein rejects this analysis because of its vagueness and lack of (...)
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  22. Optimism About the Pessimistic Induction.Sherrilyn Roush - 2010 - In P. D. Magnus & Jacob Busch (eds.), New Waves in Philosophy of Science. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 29-58.
    How confident does the history of science allow us to be about our current well-tested scientific theories, and why? The scientific realist thinks we are well within our rights to believe our best-tested theories, or some aspects of them, are approximately true.2 Ambitious arguments have been made to this effect, such as that over historical time our scientific theories are converging to the truth, that the retention of concepts and claims is evidence for this, and that there can be no (...)
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  23. The Duhemian Historiographical Project.Robert S. Westman - 1990 - Synthese 83 (2):261-272.
    Duhem regarded the history of physical science as carrying a twofold lesson for the practicing physicist. First, history revealed the slow, groping, yet continuous development of physical theory toward a true description of the relations among natural entities. Second, history also unmasked false explanations and metaphysical beliefs that might seduce the unwary scientist into following an unfruitful line of research. This paper brings forth the central images underlying Duhem's historiographical project and uses the papers by S. Menn and W. A. (...)
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Incommensurability in Science
  1. Expected Utility Theory on Mixture Spaces Without the Completeness Axiom.David McCarthy, Kalle Mikkola & Joaquin Teruji Thomas - 2021 - arXiv:2102.06898 [Econ.TH].
    A mixture preorder is a preorder on a mixture space (such as a convex set) that is compatible with the mixing operation. In decision theoretic terms, it satisfies the central expected utility axiom of strong independence. We consider when a mixture preorder has a multi-representation that consists of real-valued, mixture-preserving functions. If it does, it must satisfy the mixture continuity axiom of Herstein and Milnor (1953). Mixture continuity is sufficient for a mixture-preserving multi-representation when the dimension of the mixture space (...)
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  2. Taxonomies, Networks, and Lexicons: A Study of Kuhn’s Post-‘Linguistic Turn’ Philosophy.Vincenzo Politi - 2021 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 33 (2):87-103.
    In his mature works, Kuhn abandons the concept of a paradigm and becomes more interested in the analysis of the conceptual structure of scientific theories. These changes are interpreted as resulting from a ‘linguistic turn’ that Kuhn underwent sometimes around the 1980s. Much of the philosophical discussions about Kuhn’s post-‘linguistic turn’ philosophy revolves around his views on taxonomic concepts. Apart from taxonomy, however, the mature Kuhn introduces other concepts, such as conceptual networks and lexicons. This article distinguishes these three concepts (...)
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  3. Conceptual Change in Perspective.Matthew Shields - 2020 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 63 (9-10):930-958.
    I argue that Sarah Sawyer's and Herman Cappelen's recent accounts of how speakers talk and think about the same concept or topic even when their understandings of that concept or topic substantially diverge risk multiplying our metasemantic categories unnecessarily and fail to prove explanatory. When we look more closely at our actual practices of samesaying, we find that speakers with seemingly incompatible formulations of a subject matter take one another to samesay when they are attempting to arrive at a correct (...)
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  4. Kuhn's Incommensurability Thesis: Good Examples Still to Be Found.Dusko Prelevic - 2019 - Filozofia Nauki (The Philosophy of Science) 27 (4):61-77.
    In The Structure of Scientific Revolutions,Thomas Kuhn famously argued that scientific revolutions consist in paradigm shifts in which the superseded and the new paradigms are incommensurable. My aim in this paper is to show that neither Kuhn’s examples nor Yafeng Shan’s recently proposed example adequately support this incommensurability thesis. Starting from the distinction between global and local incommensurability, I argue that, on the one hand, local incommensurability does not imply that paradigms are globally incommensurable, and, on the other, that it (...)
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  5. Between History and Philosophy of Science: The Relationship Between Kuhn’s Black-Body Theory and Structure.Adam Timmins - 2019 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 9 (2):371-387.
  6. The Incommensurability Thesis.Howard Sankey - 2018 - Abingdon: Taylor and Francis.
    My 1994 book, The Incommensurability Thesis, has recently been re-issued in the Routledge Revivals series.
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  7. Specialisation and the Incommensurability Among Scientific Specialties.Vincenzo Politi - 2019 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 50 (1):129-144.
    In his mature writings, Kuhn describes the process of specialisation as driven by a form of incommensurability, defined as a conceptual/linguistic barrier which promotes and guarantees the insularity of specialties. In this paper, we reject the idea that the incommensurability among scientific specialties is a linguistic barrier. We argue that the problem with Kuhn’s characterisation of the incommensurability among specialties is that he presupposes a rather abstract theory of semantic incommensurability, which he then tries to apply to his description of (...)
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  8. The Incommensurability of Scientific Theories.Howard Sankey - 1989 - Dissertation, University of Melbourne
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  9. Il Problema Dell'Incommensurabilita Delle Teorie Scientifiche.Howard Sankey - 1997 - Nuova Secondaria 5:61-66.
    This is an Italian translation of a lecture on incommensurability given at the University of Genoa.
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  10. Kuhn’s Two Accounts of Rational Disagreement in Science: An Interpretation and Critique.Markus Seidel - forthcoming - Synthese:1-29.
    Whereas there is much discussion about Thomas Kuhn’s notion of methodological incommensurability and many have seen his ideas as an attempt to allow for rational disagreement in science, so far no serious analysis of how exactly Kuhn aims to account for rational disagreement has been proposed. This paper provides the first in-depth analysis of Kuhn’s account of rational disagreement in science—an account that can be seen as the most prominent attempt to allow for rational disagreement in science. Three things will (...)
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  11. Some Reflections on Experimental Incommensurability.Howard Sankey - 2008 - In Lena Soler, Howard Sankey & Paul Hoyningen-Huene (eds.), Rethinking Scientific Change and Theory Comparison. Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 341-347.
    This is a comment on Lena Soler's 'The Incommensurability of Experimental Practices'.
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  12. Incommensurability.Howard Sankey - 2006 - In Sahotra Sarkar & Jessica Pfeifer (eds.), The Philosophy of Science: An Encyclopedia. Routledge. pp. 370-373.
    This is a short introductory discussion of the idea of incommensurability as it is used in the philosophy of science.
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  13. Incommensurability and Theory Change.Howard Sankey - 2011 - In Steven Hales (ed.), A Companion to Relativism. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 456-474.
    The paper explores the relativistic implications of the thesis of incommensurability. A semantic form of incommensurability due to semantic variation between theories is distinguished from a methodological form due to variation in methodological standards between theories. Two responses to the thesis of semantic incommensurability are dealt with: the first challenges the idea of untranslatability to which semantic incommensurability gives rise; the second holds that relations of referential continuity eliminate semantic incommensurability. It is then argued that methodological incommensurability poses little risk (...)
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  14. The (Lack of) Evidence for the Kuhnian Image of Science.Moti Mizrahi - 2018 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 7 (7):19-24.
    In their reviews of The Kuhnian Image of Science: Time for a Decisive Transformation? (2018), both Markus Arnold (2018) and Amanda Bryant (2018) complain that the contributors who criticize Kuhn’s theory of scientific change have misconstrued his philosophy of science and they praise those who seek to defend the Kuhnian image of science. In what follows, then, I would like to address their claims about misconstruing Kuhn’s theory of scientific change. But my focus here, as in the book, will be (...)
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  15. Incommensurability: An Overview.Howard Sankey - 1999 - Divinatio 10:135-48.
    Opening remarks delivered at "Incommensurability (and related matters)" conference, Hanover, June 1999.
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  16. Specialisation, Interdisciplinarity, and Incommensurability.Vincenzo Politi - 2017 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 31 (3):301-317.
    Incommensurability may be regarded as driving specialisation, on the one hand, and as posing some problems to interdisciplinarity, on the other hand. It may be argued, however, that incommensurability plays no role in either specialisation or interdisciplinarity. Scientific specialties could be defined as simply 'different' (that is, about different things), rather than 'incommensurable' (that is, competing for the explanation of the same phenomena). Interdisciplinarity could be viewed as the co- ordinated effort of scientists possessing complemetary and interlocking skills, and not (...)
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  17. Scientific Revolutions, Specialization and the Discovery of the Structure of DNA: Toward a New Picture of the Development of the Sciences.Politi Vincenzo - 2018 - Synthese 195 (5):2267-2293.
    In his late years, Thomas Kuhn became interested in the process of scientific specialization, which does not seem to possess the destructive element that is characteristic of scientific revolutions. It therefore makes sense to investigate whether and how Kuhn’s insights about specialization are consistent with, and actually fit, his model of scientific progress through revolutions. In this paper, I argue that the transition toward a new specialty corresponds to a revolutionary change for the group of scientists involved in such a (...)
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  18. Incommensurability and Comparative Philosophy.Xinli Wang - 2018 - Philosophy East and West 68 (2):564-582.
    Comparative philosophy between two disparate cultural-philosophic traditions, such as Western and Chinese philosophy, has become a new trend of philosophical fashion in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Having learned from the past, contemporary comparative philosophers cautiously safeguard their comparative studies against two potential pitfalls, namely cultural universalism and cultural relativism. The Orientalism that assumed the superiority of the Occidental has become a memory of the past. The historical pendulum has apparently swung to the other extreme. The more recent (...)
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  19. Relativistic Frameworks and the Case for (or Against) Incommensurability.Jean-Michel Delhôtel - 2018 - Synthese 195 (4):1569-1585.
    The aim of this paper is to address, from a fresh perspective, the question of whether Newtonian mechanics can legitimately be regarded as a limiting case of the special theory of relativity, or whether the two theories should be deemed so radically different as to be incommensurable in the sense of Feyerabend and Kuhn. Firstly, it is argued that focusing on the concept of mass and its transformation across the two varieties of mechanics is bound to leave the issue unsettled. (...)
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  20. The Demise of the Incommensurability Thesis.Howard Sankey - 2016 - In Moti Mizrahi (ed.), The Kuhnian Image of Science: Time for a Decisive Transformation? London and New York: Rowman and Littlefield. pp. 75-91.
    The paper briefly reviews the main formulations of the incommensurability thesis by Feyerabend and Kuhn, as well as the main criticisms leveled against it. The question is then raised of whether there is a "phenomenon" of incommensurability that has been "discovered". It is argued that there is no such phenomenon.
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  21. Kuhn, Relativism and Realism.Howard Sankey - 2018 - In Juha Saatsi (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Scientific Realism. London and New York: Routledge. pp. 72-83.
    The aim of this chapter is to explore the relationship between Kuhn’s views about science and scientific realism. I present an overview of key features of Kuhn’s model of scientific change. The model suggests a relativistic approach to the methods of science. I bring out a conflict between this relativistic approach and a realist approach to the norms of method. I next consider the question of progress and truth. Kuhn’s model is a problem-solving model that proceeds by way of puzzles (...)
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  22. What Can Cognitive Science Tell Us About Scientific Revolutions?Alexander Bird - 2012 - Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 27 (3):293-321.
    Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions is notable for the readiness with which it drew on the results of cognitive psychology. These naturalistic elements were not well received and Kuhn did not subsequently develop them in his pub- lished work. Nonetheless, in a philosophical climate more receptive to naturalism, we are able to give a more positive evaluation of Kuhn’s proposals. Recently, philosophers such as Nersessian, Nickles, Andersen, Barker, and Chen have used the results of work on case-based reasoning, analogical thinking, (...)
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  23. Meta-Incommensurability Revisited.Hyundeuk Cheon - 2014 - Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 29 (2):243-259.
    A popular rejoinder to the potential threat that incommensurability might pose to scientific realism has been the referential response: despite meaning variance, there can be referential continuity, which is sufficient for rational theory choice. This response has been charged with meta-incommensurability, according to which it begs the question by assuming realist metaphysics. However, realists take it to be a rhetorical device that hinders productive discussion. By reconstructing the debate, this paper aims to demonstrate two things. First, there are unexpected commonalities (...)
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  24. Research Traditions, Incommensurability and Scientific Progress.David Pearce - 1984 - Zeitschrift Für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 15 (2):261-271.
    Summary In hisProgress and its Problems, Laudan dismisses the problem of incommensurability in science by endorsing two general assertions. The first claims there are actually no incommensurable pairs of theories or research traditions; the second maintains that his problem-solving model of scientific progress would be able rationally to appraise even incommensurable pairs of theories or traditions (are compare them for their progressiveness). I argue here that Laudan fails to provide a plausible defence of either thesis, and that this creates some (...)
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  25. Incommensurability Then and Now.Paul T. Sagal - 1972 - Zeitschrift Für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 3 (2):298-301.
    Summary The incommensurability of scientific theories is not the only famous incommensurability issue in the history of western philosophy. The commensurability of all magnitudes (things) by means of ratios of integers (arithmetical ratios) wasthe thesis of Pythagoreanism. The diagonal and side of a square, however, are not commensurable, thus the Pythagorean thesis is refuted. Most philosophers ancient and contemporary would agree that Pythagoreanism was refuted by the counter-example and the concommitant argument or proof. The incommensurabilists were victorious. The present paper (...)
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  26. What Second Order Science Reveals About Scientific Claims: Incommensurability, Doubt, and a Lack of Explication.Michael Lissack - 2017 - Foundations of Science 22 (3):575-593.
    The traditional sciences often bracket away ambiguity through the imposition of “enabling constraints”—making a set of assumptions and then declaring ceteris paribus. These enabling constraints take the form of uncritically examined presuppositions or “uceps.” Second order science reveals hidden issues, problems and assumptions which all too often escape the attention of the practicing scientist. These hidden values—precisely because they are hidden and not made explicit—can get in the way of the public’s acceptance of a scientific claim. A conflict in understood (...)
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  27. O Que Há de Polêmico Na Idéia Kuhniana de Incomensurabilidade?Jézio Hernani Bomfim Gutierre - 1998 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 2 (1):21-36.
    This paper is focused on the philosophical relevance of the Kuhnian concept of incommensurability. After the initial uproar which stemmed from the publication of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Kuhn restated his arguments on inter-paradigmatic incommensurability on somewhat new bases. In the light of such arguments, what seemed na extremely agressive epistemological idea in the sixties, has become, according to many, a neutral concept which does not deserve the philosopher's attention. My main aim in this article is to show how (...)
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