Continuity through revolutions: A frame-based account of conceptual change during scientific revolutions

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

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

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Citations of this work

Evo-Devo as a Trading Zone.Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther - 2015 - In Alan C. Love (ed.), Conceptual Change in Biology: Scientific and Philosophical Perspectives on Evolution and Development. Berlin: Springer Verlag, Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science.
Kuhn on concepts and categorization.Peter Barker, Xiang Chen & Hanne Andersen - 2003 - In Thomas Nickles (ed.), Thomas Kuhn. Cambridge University Press. pp. 212--245.
Conceptual change and evolutionary developmental biology.A. C. Love - 2015 - In Alan C. Love (ed.), Conceptual Change in Biology: Scientific and Philosophical Perspectives on Evolution and Development. Berlin: Springer Verlag, Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science. pp. 1-54.
Kuhnian Revolutions Revisited.K. Brad Wray - 2007 - Synthese 158 (1):61-73.

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References found in this work

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas Samuel Kuhn - 1962 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Edited by Otto Neurath.
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Edited by Ian Hacking.
We have never been modern.Bruno Latour - 1993 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Conceptual Revolutions.Paul Thagard - 1992 - Princeton: Princeton University Press.

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