Kuhn, Normativity and History and Philosophy of Science

Epistemologia:103-111 (2012)
Abstract
This paper addresses the relationship between the history and philosophy of science by way of the issue of epistemic normativity. After brief discussion of the relationship between history and philosophy of science in Kuhn’s own thinking, the paper focuses on the implications of the history of science for epistemic normativity. There may be historical evidence for change of scientific methodology, which may seem to support a position of epistemic relativism. However, the fact that the methods of science undergo variation does not entail that epistemic justification varies with the methods employed by scientists. In order to arrive at the relativist conclusion, an epistemological argument is required that justification depends upon operative methods. This raises the question of epistemic normativity. Kuhn himself attempted to deal with this question on a number of occasions, but without success. Following brief discussion of Kuhn on this topic, the paper then turns to the treatment of epistemic normativity in the work of Lakatos, Laudan and Worrall. Lakatos and Laudan proposed that particular episodes from the history of science might be employed to adjudicate between alternative theories of method. Such episodes are selected on the basis of value judgements or pre-analytic intuitions, but such value judgements and intuitions are themselves problematic. Laudan later proposed the normative naturalist view that a rule of method is to be evaluated empirically on the basis of its reliability in conducing to a desired cognitive aim. Against this attempt to naturalize meta-methodology, Worrall argued that the normative force of the appeal to past reliability requires an a priori inductive principle. In my view, the problem of epistemic normativity is solved by combining the particularist focus on specific episodes in the history of science with the naturalistic account of the reliability of method.
Keywords Kuhn  epistemic normativity  theory-choice
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.3280/EPIS2012-001008
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 26,769
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
How the Epistemic Relativist May Use the Sceptic's Strategy: A Reply to Markus Seidel.Howard Sankey - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (1):140-144.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Hypothetical and Categorical Epistemic Normativity.Chase Wrenn - 2004 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 42 (2):273-290.
Epistemic Normativity.Stephen R. Grimm - 2009 - In Adrian Haddock, Alan Millar & Duncan Pritchard (eds.), Epistemic Value. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 243-264.
Expressivism and Convention-Relativism About Epistemic Discourse.Allan Hazlett - forthcoming - In A. Fairweather & O. Flanagan (eds.), Naturalizing Epistemic Virtue. Cambridge University Press.
Epistemic Side Constraints and the Structure of Epistemic Normativity.Zachary Silver - 2006 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 44 (1):129-153.
Why Did Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions Cause a Fuss?B. Larvor - 2003 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 34 (2):369-390.
Epistemic Relativism and the Problem of the Criterion.Howard Sankey - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (4):562-570.

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2012-12-12

Total downloads

112 ( #43,334 of 2,158,893 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

10 ( #34,798 of 2,158,893 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums