Kuhn as Perspectival Realist

Topoi 32 (1):53-57 (2013)

Abstract

In this essay I argue that T. S. Kuhn, at least in his later works, can be regarded as a perspectival realist. This is a retrospective interpretation based mainly on the essays published posthumously under the title The Road Since Structure (Kuhn 2000). Among the strongest grounds for this interpretation is that Kuhn explicitly states that one must have a “lexicon” in place before raising questions about the truth or falsity of claims made using elements of the lexicon. This, in a linguistic framework, can be understood as an affirmation of perspectival realism. The essay concludes with an examination of Donald Davidson’s famous paper, “On The Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme,” arguing, along lines Kuhn himself suggested, that Davidson’s presentation is no threat to his notion of a conceptual scheme, or, I would add, a theoretical perspective

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Author's Profile

Ronald Giere
Last affiliation: University of Minnesota

References found in this work

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas Samuel Kuhn - 1962 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Word and Object.Willard Van Orman Quine - 1960 - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - University of Chicago Press.
Reason, Truth and History.Hilary Putnam - 1981 - Cambridge University Press.
Reason, Truth and History.Hilary Putnam - 1981 - Cambridge University Press.

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Citations of this work

Scientific Perspectivism in the Phenomenological Tradition.Philipp Berghofer - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (3):1-27.
Perspectival Realism and Norms of Scientific Representation.Quentin Ruyant - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (2):1-17.
Perspectival Instruments.Ana-Maria Creţu - 2022 - Philosophy of Science 89 (3):521-541.
Feyerabend's perspectivism.Ronald N. Giere - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 57:137-141.
Perspectivism and Special Relativity.Mahdi Khalili - 2021 - Teorie Vědy / Theory of Science 43 (2):191-217.

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