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Thomas Kuhn

Routledge (2000)

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  1. Response‐Dependence, Noumenalism, and Ontological Mystery.Nathaniel Goldberg - 2009 - European Journal of Philosophy 17 (4):469-488.
    Philip Pettit has argued that all semantically basic terms are learned in response to ostended examples and all non-basic terms are defined via them. Michael Smith and Daniel Stoljar maintain that this “global response-dependence” entails noumenalism, the thesis that reality possesses an unknowable, intrinsic nature. Surprisingly Pettit acknowledges this, contending instead that his noumenalism, like Kant’s, can be construed ontologically or epistemically. Moreover, Pettit insists, construing his noumenalism epistemically renders it unproblematic. The article shows that construing noumenalism epistemically prevents Pettit (...)
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  • Aimless Science.Darrell Patrick Rowbottom - 2014 - Synthese 191 (6):1211-1221.
    This paper argues that talk of ‘the aim of science’ should be avoided in the philosophy of science, with special reference to the way that van Fraassen sets up the difference between scientific realism and constructive empiricism. It also argues that talking instead of ‘what counts as success in science as such’ is unsatisfactory. The paper concludes by showing what this talk may be profitably replaced with, namely specific claims concerning science that fall into the following categories: descriptive, evaluative, normative, (...)
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  • The Structure’s Legacy: Not From Philosophy to Description.Vasso Kindi - 2013 - Topoi 32 (1):81-89.
    In the paper I consider how empirical material, from either history or sociology, features in Kuhn’s account of science in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions and argue that the study of scientific practice did not offer him data to be used as evidence for defending hypotheses but rather cultivated a sensitivity for detail and difference which helped him undermine an idealized conception of science. Recent attempts in the science studies literature, appealing to Wittgenstein’s philosophy, have aimed at reducing philosophy to (...)
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  • Kuhn’s Legacy: Theoretical and Philosophical Study of History. [REVIEW]Jouni-Matti Kuukkanen - 2013 - Topoi 32 (1):91-99.
    This paper considers the legacy of Kuhn and his Structure with regard to the current history and philosophy of science. Kuhn can be seen as a myth breaker, whose contribution is the way he connected historical and philosophical studies of science, questioning the cumulativist image and demanding historical responsibility of the views of science. I build on Kuhn’s legacy and outline a suggestion for theoretical and philosophical study of history (of science), which can be subdivided into three categories. The first (...)
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  • Assessing the Influence of Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions.K. Brad Wray - 2012 - Metascience 21 (1):1-10.
  • Interpreting Thomas Kuhn as a Response-Dependence Theorist.Nathaniel Goldberg - 2011 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 19 (5):729 - 752.
    Abstract Thomas Kuhn is the most famous historian and philosopher of science of the last century. He is also among the most controversial. Since Kuhn's death, his corpus has been interpreted, systematized, and defended. Here I add to this endeavor in a novel way by arguing that Kuhn can be interpreted as a global response-dependence theorist. He can be understood as connecting all concepts and terms in an a priori manner to responses of suitably situated subjects to objects in the (...)
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  • Karl Popper, Science and Enlightenment.Nicholas Maxwell - 2017 - London: UCL Press.
    Karl Popper is famous for having proposed that science advances by a process of conjecture and refutation. He is also famous for defending the open society against what he saw as its arch enemies – Plato and Marx. Popper’s contributions to thought are of profound importance, but they are not the last word on the subject. They need to be improved. My concern in this book is to spell out what is of greatest importance in Popper’s work, what its failings (...)
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  • Structural Realism Versus Standard Scientific Realism: The Case of Phlogiston and Dephlogisticated Air.James Ladyman - 2011 - Synthese 180 (2):87 - 101.
    The aim of this paper is to revisit the phlogiston theory to see what can be learned from it about the relationship between scientific realism, approximate truth and successful reference. It is argued that phlogiston theory did to some extent correctly describe the causal or nomological structure of the world, and that some of its central terms can be regarded as referring. However, it is concluded that the issue of whether or not theoretical terms successfully refer is not the key (...)
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  • Discarded Theories: The Role of Changing Interests.K. Wray - 2019 - Synthese 196 (2):553-569.
    I take another look at the history of science and offer some fresh insights into why the history of science is filled with discarded theories. I argue that the history of science is just as we should expect it to be, given the following two facts about science: theories are always only partial representations of the world, and almost inevitably scientists will be led to investigate phenomena that the accepted theory is not fit to account for. Together these facts suggest (...)
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  • What is Scientific Progress?Alexander Bird - 2007 - Noûs 41 (1):64–89.
    I argue that scientific progress is precisely the accumulation of scientific knowledge.
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  • Styles of Sociological Thought: Sociologies, Epistemologies, and the Mexican and U.S. Quests for Truth.Gabriel Abend - 2006 - Sociological Theory 24 (1):1-41.
    Both U.S. and Mexican sociologies allege that they are in the business of making true scientific knowledge claims about the social world. Conventional conceptions of science notwithstanding, I demonstrate that their claims to truth and scientificity are based on alternative epistemological grounds. Drawing a random sample of nonquantitative articles from four leading journals, I show that, first, they assign a different role to theories, and indeed they have dissimilar understandings of what a theory should consist of. Second, whereas U.S. sociology (...)
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  • The Future of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.K. Brad Wray - 2013 - Topoi 32 (1):75-79.
    I examine the value and limitations of Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions. In the interests of developing a social epistemology of science, I argue that we should draw on Kuhn’s later work, published in The Road since Structure. There, Kuhn draws attention to the important role that specialty formation plays in resolving crises in science, a topic he did not discuss in Structure. I argue that we need to develop a better understanding of specialty research communities. Kuhn’s later work provides (...)
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  • Did Tom Kuhn Actually Meet Tom Bayes?Lefteris Farmakis - 2008 - Erkenntnis 68 (1):41 - 53.
    Wesley Salmon and John Earman have presented influential Bayesian reconstructions of Thomas Kuhn’s account of theory-change. In this paper I argue that all attempts to give a Bayesian reading of Kuhn’s philosophy of science are fundamentally misguided due to the fact that Bayesian confirmation theory is in fact inconsistent with Kuhn’s account. The reasons for this inconsistency are traced to the role the concept of incommensurability plays with reference to the ‘observational vocabulary’ within Kuhn’s picture of scientific theories. The upshot (...)
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  • Kuhnian Revolutions Revisited.K. Brad Wray - 2007 - Synthese 158 (1):61-73.
    I re-examine Kuhn’s account of scientific revolutions. I argue that the sorts of events Kuhn regards as scientific revolutions are a diverse lot, differing in significant ways. But, I also argue that Kuhn does provide us with a principled way to distinguish revolutionary changes from non-revolutionary changes in science. Scientific revolutions are those changes in science that (1) involve taxonomic changes, (2) are precipitated by disappointment with existing practices, and (3) cannot be resolved by appealing to shared standards. I argue (...)
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  • The Social Authority of Paradigms as Group Commitments: Rehabilitating Kuhn with Recent Social Philosophy.William Rehg - 2013 - Topoi 32 (1):21-31.
    By linking the conceptual and social dynamics of change in science, Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions proved tremendously fruitful for research in science studies. But Kuhn’s idea of incommensurability provoked strong criticism from philosophers of science. In this essay I show how Raimo Tuomela’s Philosophy of Sociality illuminates and strengthens Kuhn’s model of scientific change. After recalling the central features and problems of Kuhn’s model, I introduce Tuomela’s approach. I then show (a) how Tuomela’s conception of group ethos aligns with (...)
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  • Engel Vs. Rorty on Truth.Erik Olsson - 2017 - Synthese 194 (5).
    My concern in this paper is a debate between Pascal Engel and Richard Rorty documented in the book What’s the Use of Truth? Both Engel and Rorty problematize the natural suggestion that attaining truth is a goal of our inquiries. Where Rorty thinks this means that truth is not something we should aim for at all over and beyond justification, Engel maintains that truth still plays a distinct role in our intellectual and daily lives. Thus, the debate between Engel and (...)
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  • On the Role of Simplicity in Science.Luigi Scorzato - 2013 - Synthese 190 (14):2867-2895.
    Simple assumptions represent a decisive reason to prefer one theory to another in everyday scientific praxis. But this praxis has little philosophical justification, since there exist many notions of simplicity, and those that can be defined precisely strongly depend on the language in which the theory is formulated. The language dependence is a natural feature—to some extent—but it is also believed to be a fatal problem, because, according to a common general argument, the simplicity of a theory is always trivial (...)
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  • Stances and Paradigms: A Reflection.Darrell Patrick Rowbottom - 2011 - Synthese 178 (1):111-119.
    This paper compares and contrasts the concept of a stance with that of a paradigm qua disciplinary matrix, in an attempt to illuminate both notions. First, it considers to what extent it is appropriate to draw an analogy between stances and disciplinary matrices. It suggests that despite first appearances, a disciplinary matrix is not simply a stance writ large. Second, it examines how we might reinterpret disciplinary matrices in terms of stances, and shows how doing so can provide us with (...)
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  • Did Tom Kuhn Actually Meet Tom Bayes?Lefteris Farmakis - 2008 - Erkenntnis 68 (1):41-53.
    Wesley Salmon and John Earman have presented influential Bayesian reconstructions of Thomas Kuhn's account of theory-change. In this paper I argue that all attempts to give a Bayesian reading of Kuhn's philosophy of science are fundamentally misguided due to the fact that Bayesian confirmation theory is in fact inconsistent with Kuhn's account. The reasons for this inconsistency are traced to the role the concept of incommensurability plays with reference to the 'observational vocabulary' within Kuhn's picture of scientific theories. The upshot (...)
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  • The Future of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.K. Brad Wray - 2013 - Topoi 32 (1):75-79.
    I examine the value and limitations of Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions. In the interests of developing a social epistemology of science, I argue that we should draw on Kuhn’s later work, published in The Road since Structure. There, Kuhn draws attention to the important role that specialty formation plays in resolving crises in science, a topic he did not discuss in Structure. I argue that we need to develop a better understanding of specialty research communities. Kuhn’s later work provides (...)
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  • Alasdair MacIntyre's Analysis of Tradition.Tom Angier - 2014 - European Journal of Philosophy 22 (4):540-572.
    I argue that, in analysing the structure and development of moral traditions, MacIntyre relies primarily on Kuhn's model of scientific tradition, rather than on Lakatos' model. I unpack three foci of Kuhn's conception of the sciences, namely: the ‘crisis’ conception of scientific development, what I call the ‘systematic conception’ of scientific paradigms, and the view that successive paradigms are incommensurable. I then show that these three foci are integrated into MacIntyre's account of the development of moral traditions with a surprising (...)
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