Taxonomy, truth-value gaps and incommensurability: a reconstruction of Kuhn's taxonomic interpretation of incommensurability


Authors
Xinli Wang
Juniata College
Abstract
Kuhn's alleged taxonomic interpretation of incommensurability is grounded on an ill defined notion of untranslatability and is hence radically incomplete. To supplement it, I reconstruct Kuhn's taxonomic interpretation on the basis of a logical-semantic theory of taxonomy, a semantic theory of truth-value, and a truth-value conditional theory of cross-language communication. According to the reconstruction, two scientific languages are incommensurable when core sentences of one language, which have truth values when considered within its own context, lack truth values when considered within the context of the other due to the unmatchable taxonomic structures underlying them. So constructed, Kuhn's mature interpretation of incommensurability does not depend upon the notion of truth-preserving translatability, but rather depends on the notion of truth-value-status-preserving cross-language communication. The reconstruction makes Kuhn's notion of incommensurability a well grounded, tenable and integrated notion.Author Keywords: Incommensurability; Thomas Kuhn; Taxonomic structures; Lexicons; Truth-value; Untranslatability; Cross-language communication.
Keywords Thomas Kuhn  incommensurability  taxonomy  theory of truth-value  cross-language communication  truth-value status  truth-value gaps  conceptual schemes  scientific theory  untranslatability
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1016/S0039-3681(01)00039-5
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Road Since Structure.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1991 - In A. Fine, M. Forbes & L. Wessels (eds.), PSA 1990: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association. University of Chicago Press. pp. 3-13.
What Are Scientific Revolutions?Thomas S. Kuhn - 1981 - Center for Cognitive Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Kuhn's Epistemological Relativism: An Interpretation and Defense.Gerald Doppelt - 1978 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 21 (1-4):33 – 86.
On Davidson's Idea of a Conceptual Scheme.P. M. S. Hacker - 1996 - Philosophical Quarterly 46 (184):289-307.

View all 16 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Rational Disagreements in Phylogenetics.Fabrizzio Guerrero Mc Manus - 2009 - Acta Biotheoretica 57 (1-2):99-127.
Multisemiosis and Incommensurability.S. K. Arun Murthi & Sundar Sarukkai - 2009 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 23 (3):297-311.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Incommensurability and Cross-Language Communication.Xinli Wang - 2007 - Ashgate Publishing Ltd, England.
Taxonomic Incommensurability.Howard Sankey - 1998 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 12 (1):7 – 16.
Thomas Kuhn's Latest Notion of Incommensurability.Xiang Chen - 1997 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 28 (2):257-273.
Multisemiosis and Incommensurability.S. K. Arun Murthi & Sundar Sarukkai - 2009 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 23 (3):297-311.
Incommensurability and the Bonfire of the Meta-Theories: Response to Mizrahi.Lydia Patton - 2015 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 4 (7):51-58.
Incommensurability Reconsidered.Harold I. Brown - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 36 (1):149-169.
Daughters of History: Truth and Incommensurability.Bjorn Torgrim Ramberg - 1988 - Dissertation, Queen's University at Kingston (Canada)
Epistemological Relativism in its Latest Form.Harvey Siegel - 1980 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 23 (1):107 – 117.
Pragmatic Incommensurability.John Collier - 1984 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1984:146 - 153.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
552 ( #6,983 of 2,260,230 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
89 ( #5,974 of 2,260,230 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature