Erkenntnis 75 (3):413-429 (2011)
Why do some epistemic objects persist despite undergoing serious changes, while others go extinct in similar situations? Scientists have often been careless in deciding which epistemic objects to retain and which ones to eliminate; historians and philosophers of science have been on the whole much too unreflective in accepting the scientists’ decisions in this regard. Through a re-examination of the history of oxygen and phlogiston, I will illustrate the benefits to be gained from challenging and disturbing the commonly accepted continuities and discontinuities in the lives of epistemic objects. I will also outline two key consequences of such re-thinking. First, a fresh view on the (dis)continuities in key epistemic objects is apt to lead to informative revisions in recognized periods and trends in the history of science. Second, recognizing sources of continuity leads to a sympathetic view on extinct objects, which in turn problematizes the common monistic tendency in science and philosophy; this epistemological reorientation allows room for more pluralism in scientific practice itself
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References found in this work BETA
Inventing Temperature: Measurement and Scientific Progress.Hasok Chang - 2004 - Oup Usa.
The Hidden History of Phlogiston: How Philosophical Failure Can Generate Historiographical Refinement.Hasok Chang - 2010 - Hyle 16 (2):47 - 79.
Refining the Causal Theory of Reference for Natural Kind Terms.P. Kyle Stanford & Philip Kitcher - 2000 - Philosophical Studies 97 (1):97-127.
Thomas Kuhn and the Chemical Revolution.Paul Hoyningen-Huene - 2008 - Foundations of Chemistry 10 (2):101-115.
Citations of this work BETA
Scientific Pluralism and the Chemical Revolution.Martin Kusch - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 49:69-79.
Kuhn and the Question of Pursuit Worthiness.Dunja Šešelja & Christian Straßer - 2013 - Topoi 32 (1):9-19.
Hysteria, Race, and Phlogiston. A Model of Ontological Elimination in the Human Sciences.David Ludwig - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 45:68-77.
Epistemic Justification in the Context of Pursuit: A Coherentist Approach.Dunja Šešelja & Christian Straßer - 2014 - Synthese 191 (13):3111-3141.
Kuhn on Incommensurability and Theory Choice.Alex Stewart Davies - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 44 (4):571-579.
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