Authors
Harold I. Brown
Northern Illinois University
Abstract
The thesis that certain competing scientific theories are incommensurable was introduced by Kuhn and Feyerabend in 1962 and has been a subject of widespread critique. Critics have generally taken incommensurable theories to be theories which cannot be compared in a rational manner, but both Kuhn and Feyerabend have explicitly rejected this interpretation, and Feyerabend has discussed ways in which such comparisons can be made in a number of his writings. This paper attempts to clarify the incommensurability thesis through the examination of a number of examples, both scientific and nonscientific, of cases in which incommensurable points of view compete. There follows a discussion of Kuhn's analogy between paradigm change and gestalt shifts, the ways in which incommensurable theories can be compared, and one key reason why the incommensurability thesis has been so often misinterpreted by its critics
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DOI 10.1080/00201748308601983
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References found in this work BETA

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - University of Chicago Press.
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge.Imre Lakatos & Alan Musgrave (eds.) - 1970 - Cambridge University Press.
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Dudley Shapere - 1964 - Philosophical Review 73 (3):383-394.
Response to Siegel.Harold I. Brown - 1983 - Synthese 56 (1):91 - 105.

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Citations of this work BETA

Kuhn's Changing Concept of Incommensurability.Howard Sankey - 1993 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (4):759-774.
Paul Feyerabend.John Preston - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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