Dynamical versus structural explanations in scientific revolutions

Synthese 194 (7):2307-2327 (2017)
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By briefly reviewing three well-known scientific revolutions in fundamental physics (the discovery of inertia, of special relativity and of general relativity), I claim that problems that were supposed to be crying for a dynamical explanation in the old paradigm ended up receiving a structural explanation in the new one. This claim is meant to give more substance to Kuhn’s view that revolutions are accompanied by a shift in what needs to be explained, while suggesting at the same time the existence of a pattern that is common to all of the discussed case-studies. It remains to be seen whether also quantum mechanics, in particular entanglement, conforms to this pattern

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Mauro Dorato
Università degli Studi Roma Tre

Citations of this work

Relational quantum mechanics.Federico Laudisa - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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References found in this work

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Edited by Ian Hacking.
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas Samuel Kuhn - 1962 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Edited by Otto Neurath.
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.David Bohm - 1964 - Philosophical Quarterly 14 (57):377-379.
The Web of Belief.W. V. Quine & J. S. Ullian - 1970 - New York: Random House. Edited by J. S. Ullian.

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