Conceptual transformations

Sociological Theory 13 (2):163-177 (1995)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Are the words in our natural language which we use to speak about natural and social phenomena actually laden with preexisting (and hence corrigible) theoretical commitments, full-blown "ontologies," or even metaphysics? Or can we appeal to rules for their use in adjudicating the sense (or otherwise) of any scientific or philosophical innovation? These questions arise most commonly in the context of claims about scientific "transformations," especially "scientific revolutions." Cognitive science, for example, announces such a "revolution" in its conceptualizations of the true nature of the "mind," "thought," "intelligence," "understanding," and so on. In this paper I shall argue that Wittgenstein's reflections on "grammar" enable us to dissolve many of the perplexities that confront us when we invoke Kuhnian "incommensurability" in distinguishing between genuine scientific revolutions and pseudo-revolutions. Indeed, the Kuhnian thesis itself is seen to depend on a range of contestable claims about "words" and "meanings."



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,931

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Paradigm Shifts, Scientific Revolutions, and the Unit of Scientific Change: Towards a Post-Kuhnian Theory of Types of Scientific Development.Paul C. L. Tang - 1984 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1984:125 - 136.
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.
Did a Scientific Revolution Occur in Linguistics?Morton E. Winston - 1976 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1976:25-33.
Review Essay: Scientific Revolutions Revisited.Slobodan Perovic - 2010 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 40 (3):523-529.


Added to PP

126 (#147,433)

6 months
9 (#356,042)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

Indeterminacy in the past?Wes Sharrock & Ivan Leudar - 2002 - History of the Human Sciences 15 (3):95-115.
Rethinking practices and structures.T. J. Berard - 2005 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 35 (2):196-230.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references