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. 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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  2. 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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  3. 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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Incommensurability in Science
  1. 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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  2. 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.
  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. The Incommensurability of Scientific Theories.Howard Sankey - 1989 - Dissertation, University of Melbourne
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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. 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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  11. 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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  12. 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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  13. 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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  14. 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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  15. 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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  16. 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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  17. 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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  18. 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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  19. 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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  20. 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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  21. 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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  22. 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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  23. 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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  24. 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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  25. Kuhn, Pedagogy, and Practice: A Local Reading of Structure.Lydia Patton - 2018 - In Moti Mizrahi (ed.), The Kuhnian Image of Science: Time for a Decisive Transformation? Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.
    Moti Mizrahi has argued that Thomas Kuhn does not have a good argument for the incommensurability of successive scientific paradigms. With Rouse, Andersen, and others, I defend a view on which Kuhn primarily was trying to explain scientific practice in Structure. Kuhn, like Hilary Putnam, incorporated sociological and psychological methods into his history of science. On Kuhn’s account, the education and initiation of scientists into a research tradition is a key element in scientific training and in his explanation of incommensurability (...)
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  26. The Kuhnian Image of Science: Time for a Decisive Transformation?Moti Mizrahi (ed.) - 2018 - London: Rowman & Littlefield.
    More than 50 years after the publication of Thomas Kuhn’s seminal book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, this volume assesses the adequacy of the Kuhnian model in explaining certain aspects of science, particularly the social and epistemic aspects of science. One argument put forward is that there are no good reasons to accept Kuhn’s incommensurability thesis, according to which scientific revolutions involve the replacement of theories with conceptually incompatible ones. Perhaps, therefore, it is time for another “decisive transformation in the (...)
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  27. Saving Incommensurability: Semantic Theory of Meaning or Semantic Theory of Science?Soazig Le Bihan - 2004 - Philosophia Scientiae 8 (1):97-105.
    Carrier’s paper is mainly a defence of incommensurability as “a sensible notion”, on the basis of the context theory of meaning. I shall here discuss his semantic reconstruction of the notion. His argument consists in exhibiting cases where incommensurability is instantiated thanks to a symmetrical proof of untranslatability, based on a distinction between two determinants of the meaning of a concept. I shall mainly show that a logical asymmetry in the distinction hinders the argument from achieving its goal. I shall (...)
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  28. A Program For The Individuation Of Scientific Concepts.Jose A. Diez - 2002 - Synthese 130 (1):13-47.
    Within post - Kuhnian, philosophy of science, much effort has been devoted to issues related to conceptual change, such as incommensurability, scientific progress and realism, but mostly in terms of reference, without a fine - grained theory of scientific concepts/senses. Within the philosophy of language and of mind tradition, there is a large body of work on concepts, but the application to scientific concepts has been very tentative. The aim of this paper is to propose a general framework for a (...)
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  29. Book Review of Howard Sankey The Incommensurability Thesis. [REVIEW]Dudley Shapere - 1995 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 46 (1):139-141.
  30. Higher Taxonomy and Higher Incommensurability.Daiwie Fu - 1995 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 26 (2):237-294.
  31. Incommensurability Reconsidered.Harold I. Brown - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 36 (1):149-169.
    In his later writings Kuhn reconsidered his earlier account of incommensurability, clarifying some aspects, modifying others, and explicitly rejecting some of his earlier claims. In Kuhn’s new account incommensurability does not pose a problem for the rational evaluation of competing scientific theories, but does pose a problem for certain forms of realism. Kuhn maintains that, because of incommensurability, the notion that science might seek to learn the nature of things as they are in themselves is incoherent. I develop Kuhn’s new (...)
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  32. Incommensurabilities in the Work of Thomas Kuhn.Ipek Demir - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 39 (1):133-142.
    I distinguish between two ways in which Kuhn employs the concept of incommensurability based on for whom it presents a problem. First, I argue that Kuhn’s early work focuses on the comparison and underdetermination problems scientists encounter during revolutionary periods whilst his later work focuses on the translation and interpretation problems analysts face when they engage in the representation of science from earlier periods. Secondly, I offer a new interpretation of actors’ incommensurability. I challenge Kuhn’s account of incommensurability which is (...)
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  33. Incommensurability and Commensuration: Lessons From Ethico-Political Theory.Fred D'Agostino - 1999 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 31 (3):429-447.
  34. On the Historical Origins of the Contemporary Notion of Incommensurability: Paul Feyerabend’s Assault on Conceptual Conservativism.Eric Oberheim - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 36 (2):363-390.
    This paper investigates the historical origins of the notion of incommensurability in contemporary philosophy of science. The aim is not to establish claims of priority, but to enhance our understanding of the notion by illuminating the various issues that contributed to its development. Kuhn developed his notion of incommensurability primarily under the influence of Fleck, Polanyi, and Köhler. Feyerabend, who had developed his notion more than a decade earlier, drew directly from Duhem, who had developed a notion of incommensurability in (...)
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  35. Kuhn Reconstructed: Incommensurability Without Relativism.Michael E. Malone - 1991 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 24 (1):69-93.
    The standard reading of Kuhn's philosophy attributes to him the view that the incommensurability of rival theories and theory-ladenness of observation make rational debate about competing paradigms nearly impossible. If this reflects his real view, then he has claimed something prima facie absurd, and easily refuted with historical counter-examples. It is not the incommensurability thesis per se that is easily refutable, but Kuhn's gestelt interpretation of it. The gestalt interpretation, moreover misrepresents his more fundamental ideas on paradigms, and is in (...)
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  36. Strategies for Conceptual Change: Ratio and Proportion in Classical Greek Mathematics.Paul Rusnock & Paul Thagard - 1995 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 26 (1):107-131.
    …all men begin… by wondering that things are as they are…as they do about…the incommensurability of the diagonal of the square with the side; for it seems wonderful to all who have not yet seen the reason, that there is a thing which cannot be measured even by the smallest unit. But we must end in the contrary and, according to the proverb, the better state, as is the case in these instances too when men learn the cause; for there (...)
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  37. Whorfian Variations on Kantian Themes: Kuhn's Linguistic Turn.Gürol Irzik & Teo Grünberg - 1998 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 29 (2):207-221.
    Thomas Kuhn's post-1980 writings have increasingly emphasized the role played by language in the characterization of scientific revolutions and incommensurability. We argue that Kuhn's `linguistic turn' can be understood best against the background of a Whorfian conception of language and certain neo-Kantian themes. While this enables Kuhn to refine and unify his earlier views, it also creates some difficulties.
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  38. Polanyi's Presagement of the Incommensurability Concept.Struan Jacobs - 2002 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 33 (1):101-116.
    Kuhn and Feyerabend have little to say about the thought of Michael Polanyi, and the secondary literature on Polanyi's relation to them is meagre. I argue that Polanyi's view, in Personal knowledge and in other writings, of conceptual frameworks ‘segregated’ by a ‘logical gap’ as giving rise to controversies in science foreshadowed Kuhn and Feyerabend's theme of incommensurability. The similarity between the thinkers is, I suggest, no coincidence.
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  39. Reference, Ontological Replacement and Neo-Kantianism: A Reply to Sankey.Paul Hoyningen-Huene & Eric Oberheim - 2009 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 40 (2):203-209.
    Contrary to Sankey’s central assumption, incommensurability does not imply incomparability of content, nor threaten scientific realism by challenging the rationality of theory comparison. Moreover, Sankey equivocates between reference to specific entities by statements used to test theories and reference to kinds by theories themselves. This distinction helps identify and characterize the genuine threat that incommensurability poses to realism, which is ontological discontinuity as evidenced in the historical record: Successive theories reclassify objects into mutually exclusive sets of kinds to which they (...)
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  40. A Curious Disagreement: Response to Hoyningen-Huene and Oberheim.Howard Sankey - 2009 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 40 (2):210-212.
    In this response, doubts are expressed relating to the treatment by Hoyningen-Huene and Oberheim of the relation between incommensurability and content comparison. A realist response is presented to their treatment of ontological replacement. Further questions are raised about the coherence of the neo-Kantian idea of the world-in-itself as well as the phenomenal worlds hypothesis. The notion of common sense is clarified. Meta-incommensurability is dismissed as a rhetorical device which obstructs productive discussion.Keywords: Scientific realism; Incommensurability; Meta-incommensurability; Paul Hoyningen-HueneArticle Outline.
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  41. Scientific Realism and the Semantic Incommensurability Thesis.Howard Sankey - 2009 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 40 (2):196-202.
    This paper reconsiders the challenge presented to scientific realism by the semantic incommensurability thesis. A twofold distinction is drawn between methodological and semantic incommensurability, and between semantic incommensurability due to variation of sense and due to discontinuity of reference. Only the latter presents a challenge to scientific realism. The realist may dispose of this challenge on the basis of a modified causal theory of reference, as argued in the author’s 1994 book, The incommensurability thesis. This referential response has been the (...)
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  42. Taxonomy, Truth-Value Gaps and Incommensurability: A Reconstruction of Kuhn's Taxonomic Interpretation of Incommensurability.Xinli Wang - 2002 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 33 (3):465-485.
    Kuhn's alleged taxonomic interpretation of incommensurability is grounded on an ill defined notion of untranslatability and is hence radically incomplete. To supplement it, I reconstruct Kuhn's taxonomic interpretation on the basis of a logical-semantic theory of taxonomy, a semantic theory of truth-value, and a truth-value conditional theory of cross-language communication. According to the reconstruction, two scientific languages are incommensurable when core sentences of one language, which have truth values when considered within its own context, lack truth values when considered within (...)
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  43. Incommensurable Paradigms and Critical Idealism.J. Douglas Rabb - 1975 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 6 (4):343.
  44. Incommensurability and Rationality in Engineering Design: The Case of Functional Decomposition.Dingmar van Eck - 2011 - Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology 15 (2):118-136.
    In engineering design research different models of functional decomposition are advanced side-by-side. In this paper I explain and validate this co-existence of models in terms of the Kuhnian thesis of methodological incommensurability. I advance this analysis in terms of the thesis’ construal of theory choice in terms of values, expanding this notion to the engineering domain. I further argue that the implicated threat of the thesis to rational theory choice has no force in the functional decomposition case: co-existence of different (...)
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  45. Inconmensurabilidad y ontosemántica representacional.José L. Falguera - 1998 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 13 (1):161-185.
    En este trabajo se asume: que una teoría factual es un sistema conceptual para representar parcelas deI mundo; que la principal manera de expresar tales sistemas es mediante el lenguaje; y que, consecuentemente, en la comparación de teorías rivales tienen importancia los factores de índole ontosemántica. Desde esa perspectiva se analizan dos problemas que surgen de la aceptación de la tesis de la inconmensurabilidad, a saber: a) el de establecer las condiciones ontosemánticas que dan sentido a la comparabilidad de teorías (...)
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  46. ¿Es la referencia deI término “agua” immutable?Luis Fernandez Moreno - 1997 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 12 (3):493-509.
    Algunas de las objeciones más importantes contra la tesis de la incommensurabilidad, especialmente en su versión referencial se basan en la teoría causal de la referencia y, en particular, en la teoría de la referencia de Putnam acerca de los términos de género natural: de estl teoría se sigue que la referencia de los términos de género natural no se ve modificada por cambios en nuestras teorías. En este articulo examino la teoria de la referencia de Putnam y arguyo que (...)
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  47. Incommensurability, Realism, and Meta-Incommensurability.Eric Oberheim & Paul Hoyningen-Huene - 1997 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 12 (3):447-465.
    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 (...)
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