Philosophy of Science 67 (3):223 (2000)

In this paper we examine the pattern of conceptual change during scientific revolutions by using methods from cognitive psychology. We show that the changes characteristic of scientific revolutions, especially taxonomic changes, can occur in a continuous manner. Using the frame model of concept representation to capture structural relations within concepts and the direct links between concept and taxonomy, we develop an account of conceptual change in science that more adequately reflects the current understanding that episodes like the Copernican revolution are not always abrupt. When concepts are represented by frames, the transformation from one taxonomy to another can be achieved in a piecemeal fashion not preconditioned by a crisis stage, and a new taxonomy can arise naturally out of the old frame instead of emerging separately from the existing conceptual system. This cognitive mechanism of continuous change demonstrates the constructive roles of anomaly and incommensurability in promoting the progress of science
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1086/392820
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 65,593
Through your library

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 Samuel Kuhn - 1962 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
We Have Never Been Modern.Bruno Latour - 1993 - Harvard University Press.
Conceptual Revolutions.Paul THAGARD - 1992 - Princeton University Press.

View all 21 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Kuhn on Concepts and Categorization.Peter Barker, Xiang Chen & Hanne Andersen - 2003 - In Thomas Nickles (ed.), Thomas Kuhn. Cambridge University Press. pp. 212--245.

View all 17 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Challenge of Scientific Revolutions: Van Fraassen's and Friedman's Responses.Vasso Kindi - 2011 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 25 (4):327-349.
Conceptual Transformations.Jeff Coulter - 1995 - Sociological Theory 13 (2):163-177.
On Classification of Scientific Revolutions.Ladislav Kvasz - 1999 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 30 (2):201-232.
Kuhn, Incommensurability, and Cognitive Science.Peter Barker - 2001 - Perspectives on Science 9 (4):433-462.


Added to PP index

Total views
300 ( #32,496 of 2,462,051 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #448,768 of 2,462,051 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes