Multisemiosis and Incommensurability

International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 23 (3):297-311 (2009)
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Abstract

Central to Kuhn's notion of incommensurability are the ideas of meaning variance and lexicon, and the impossibility of translation of terms across different theories. Such a notion of incommensurability is based on a particular understanding of what a scientific language is. In this paper we first attempt to understand this notion of scientific language in the context of incommensurability. We consider the consequences of the essential multisemiotic character of scientific theories and show how this leads to even a single theory being potentially 'internally incommensurable'. We then discuss Kuhn's lexicon-based approach to incommensurability and the problems associated with it. Finally we argue that this approach by Kuhn has interesting overlaps with the problem of meaning associated with multisemiosis, particularly the challenge of understanding the process of symbolization in scientific theories

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Commensurability, Comparability, Communicability.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1982 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1982:669 - 688.
The Road since Structure.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1990 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1990:3-13.
The road since structure.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1991 - In A. Fine, M. Forbes & L. Wessels (eds.), Psa 1990. Philosophy of Science Association. pp. 3-13.
Faraday to Einstein: Constructing Meaning in Scientific Theories.Nancy J. Nersessian - 1987 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 38 (4):575-577.

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