In Pablo Melogno, Hernán Miguel & Leandro Giri (eds.), Perspectives On Kuhn (forthcoming)

Howard Sankey
University of Melbourne
The paper takes off from the suggestion of Jouni-Matti Kuukkanen that Kuhn’s account of science may be understood in coherentist terms. There are coherentist themes in Kuhn’s philosophy of science. But one crucial element is lacking. Kuhn does not deny the existence of basic beliefs which have a non-doxastic source of justification. Nor does he assert that epistemic justification only derives from inferential relationships between non-basic beliefs. Despite this, the coherentist interpretation is promising and I develop it further in this paper. I raise the question of whether Kuhn’s account of science can deal with the input objection to coherentism. I argue that the role played by problems in Kuhn’s theory of science ensures that there is input from the external world into scientists’ belief-systems. I follow Hoyningen-Huene in pointing to the causal role played by the external world in determining perceptual states. I next turn to the question of whether Kuhn’s rejection of foundationalism implies coherentism. I argue that Kuhn’s rejection of the one-to-one relation between object and experience is compatible with a foundationalist account of justification. Nor does Kuhn’s rejection of the given entail the same coherentist implications as Sellars’ critique of the myth of the given.
Keywords T.S. Kuhn  J. M Kuukkanen  Coherentism  Perception
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book Find it on
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Kuhn and Coherentist Epistemology.Dunja Šešelja & Christian Straßer - 2009 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 40 (3):322-327.
Kuhn, the Correspondence Theory of Truth and Coherentist Epistemology.Jouni-Matti Kuukkanen - 2007 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 38 (3):555-566.
Closing the Door to Cloud-Cuckoo Land: A Reply to Šešelja and Straßer.Jouni-Matti Kuukkanen - 2009 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 40 (3):328-331.
Why Bayesian Coherentism Isn't Coherentism.Lydia McGrew - 2015 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 11 (1):37-56.
Thomas Kuhn und die Wissenschaftsgeschichte†.Paul Hoyningen-Huene - 2001 - Berichte Zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte 24 (1):1-12.
Kuhn and the Genesis of the “New Historiography of Science”.J. C. Pinto de Oliveira - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 43 (1):115-121.
Kuhn's Ontological Relativism.Howard Sankey - 2000 - Science & Education 9 (1-2):59-75.
TS Kuhn a teória vedeckých revolúcií.Jozef Viceník - 1997 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 4 (4):337-358.
Kuhn and Philosophy of Science in the Twentieth Century.Alexander Bird - 2004 - Annals of the Japan Association for Philosophy of Science 12 (2):61-74.
Can A Coherentist Be An Externalist?William A. Roche - 2006 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 6 (2):269-280.
Thomas Kuhn and the Chemical Revolution.Paul Hoyningen-Huene - 2008 - Foundations of Chemistry 10 (2):101-115.


Added to PP index

Total views
99 ( #110,293 of 2,455,402 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
19 ( #36,910 of 2,455,402 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes