Results for 'Incommensurability'

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  1.  73
    Incommensurability, Incomparability, and Practical Reason.Ruth Chang - 1997 - Cambridge, MA, USA: Harvard.
    Can quite different values be rationally weighed against one another? Can the value of one thing always be ranked as greater than, equal to, or less than the value of something else? If not, when do we find commensurability and comparability unavailable? What are the moral and legal implications? In this book, philosophers address these questions.
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  2. The Incommensurability Thesis.Howard Sankey - 1994 - Abingdon: Taylor and Francis.
    My 1994 book, The Incommensurability Thesis, has recently been re-issued in the Routledge Revivals series.
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  3. Incommensurability (and Incomparability).Ruth Chang - 2013 - In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Ethics. Blackwell. pp. 2591-2604.
    This encyclopedia entry urges what it takes to be correctives to common (mis)understandings concerning the phenomenon of incommensurability and incomparability and briefly outlines some of their philosophical upshots.
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  4. Incommensurability as Vagueness: A Burden-Shifting Argument.Luke Elson - 2017 - Theoria 83 (4):341-363.
    Two options are ‘incommensurate’ when neither is better than the other, but they are not equally good. Typically, we will say that one option is better in some ways, and the other in others, but neither is better ‘all things considered’. It is tempting to think that incommensurability is vagueness—that it is indeterminate which is better—but this ‘vagueness view’ of incommensurability has not proven popular. I set out the vagueness view and its implications in more detail, and argue (...)
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  5. Incommensurability and Vagueness in Spectrum Arguments: Options for Saving Transitivity of Betterness.Toby Handfield & Wlodek Rabinowicz - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (9):2373-2387.
    The spectrum argument purports to show that the better-than relation is not transitive, and consequently that orthodox value theory is built on dubious foundations. The argument works by constructing a sequence of increasingly less painful but more drawn-out experiences, such that each experience in the spectrum is worse than the previous one, yet the final experience is better than the experience with which the spectrum began. Hence the betterness relation admits cycles, threatening either transitivity or asymmetry of the relation. This (...)
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  6. Incommensurability, Incomparability, and Practical Reason.Ruth Chang (ed.) - 1997 - Harvard University Press.
    Can quite different values be rationally weighed against one another? Can the value of one thing always be ranked as greater than, equal to, or less than the value of something else? If the answer to these questions is no, then in what areas do we find commensurability and comparability unavailable? And what are the implications for moral and legal decision making? In this book, some of the sharpest minds in philosophy struggle with these questions.
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  7. Incommensurability and Comparative Philosophy.Xinli Wang - 2018 - Philosophy East and West 68 (2):564-582.
    Comparative philosophy between two disparate cultural-philosophic traditions, such as Western and Chinese philosophy, has become a new trend of philosophical fashion in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Having learned from the past, contemporary comparative philosophers cautiously safeguard their comparative studies against two potential pitfalls, namely cultural universalism and cultural relativism. The Orientalism that assumed the superiority of the Occidental has become a memory of the past. The historical pendulum has apparently swung to the other extreme. The more recent (...)
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  8. Incommensurability: The Current State of Play.Howard Sankey - 1997 - Theoria 12 (3):425-445.
    The incommensurability thesis is the thesis that the content of some alternative scientific theories is incomparable due to translation failure between the vocabulary the theories employ. This paper presents an overview of the main issues which have arisen in the debate about incommensurability. It also briefly outlines a response to the thesis based on a modified causal theory of reference which allows change of reference subsequent to initial baptism, as well as a role to description in the determination (...)
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  9. Incommensurability and the Bonfire of the Meta-Theories: Response to Mizrahi.Lydia Patton - 2015 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 4 (7):51-58.
    Scientists working within a paradigm must play by the rules of the game of that paradigm in solving problems, and that is why incommensurability arises when the rules of the game change. If we deny the thesis of the priority of paradigms, then there is no good argument for the incommensurability of theories and thus for taxonomic incommensurability, because there is no invariant way to determine the set of results provable, puzzles solvable, and propositions cogently formulable under (...)
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  10. Methodological Incommensurability and Epistemic Relativism.Howard Sankey - 2013 - Topoi 32 (1):33-41.
    This paper revisits one of the key ideas developed in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. In particular, it explores the methodological form of incommensurability which may be found in the original edition of Structure. It is argued that such methodological incommensurability leads to a form of epistemic relativism. In later work, Kuhn moved away from the original idea of methodological incommensurability with his idea of a set of epistemic values that provides a basis for rational theory choice, (...)
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  11. Is Incommensurability Vagueness?John Broome - 1997 - In Ruth Chang (ed.), Incommensurability, Incomparability and Practical Reason. Harvard University Press.
  12.  8
    Incommensurability and Related Matters.Paul Hoyningen-Huene & Howard Sankey (eds.) - 2001 - Kluwer Academic Publishers.
    Incommensurability and Related Matters draws together some of the most distinguished contributors to the critical literature on the problem of the incommensurability of scientific theories. It addresses all the various problems raised by the problem of incommensurability, such as meaning change, reference of theoretical terms, scientific realism and anti-realism, rationality of theory choice, cognitive aspects of conceptual change, as well as exploring the broader implications of incommensurability for cultural difference. While it offers new work, and new (...)
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  13. Taxonomic Incommensurability.Howard Sankey - 1998 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 12 (1):7 – 16.
    In a shift of position that has gone largely unnoticed by the great majority of commentators, Thomas Kuhn's version of the incommensurability thesis underwent a major transformation over the last decade and a half of his life. In his later work, Kuhn argued that incommensurability is a relation of translation failure between local subsets of interdefined theoretical terms, which encapsulate the taxonomic structure of a theory. Incommensurability arises because it is impossible to transfer the natural categories employed (...)
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  14. Verballed? Incommensurability 50 Years On.Fred D'Agostino - 2014 - Synthese 191 (3):1-22.
    Someone is “verballed” in the Anglo-Australian idiom if they have attributed to them statements they did not actually make and indeed have explicitly denied. We will examine the evidence that Kuhn and Feyerabend were verballed in this sense by their critics and that the role of the idea of incommensurability in their argumentation has been systematically misunderstood and -represented. In particular, we will see that neither Kuhn nor Feyerabend, despite what their critics often say about them, held that (...) of theories implies the rational incomparability of theories. This is especially clear in the case of Feyerabend, whose argument is NOT that theories in a scientific tradition are on occasion incommensurable, but, rather, that, when the relations of theories in a tradition are represented in a particular way, they may on occasion be incommensurable according to that representation and hence incomparable if that representation is taken as providing the mechanisms of comparison. And the point of this claim is not to establish something about science, but, rather, to establish something about the representations of science which yield this result (i.e. that two theories might be incommensurable). Feyerabend in other words invokes incommensurability (according to the standards of a particular representation) as a reductio of that mode of representation. And this argument in fact depends precisely on the comparability of theories which are, according to the representation, incommensurable. Feyerabend’s argument is about the ways in which we should understand progress in science and he is concerned, in particular, to establish that a historically informed approach is superior to an approach which, if applicable, is applicable only to what he calls “abstract traditions”. Kuhn’s work, especially in the Postscript—1969, provides complementary materials, especially in relation to a collectivised and non-“algorithmic” account of theory choice across formally incommensurable paradigms. (shrink)
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  15. Meta-Incommensurability Between Theories of Meaning: Chemical Evidence.Nicholas W. Best - 2015 - Perspectives on Science 23 (3):361-378.
    Attempting to compare scientific theories requires a philosophical model of meaning. Yet different scientific theories have at times—particularly in early chemistry—pre-supposed disparate theories of meaning. When two theories of meaning are incommensurable, we must say that the scientific theories that rely upon them are meta-incommensurable. Meta- incommensurability is a more profound sceptical threat to science since, unlike first-order incommensurability, it implies complete incomparability.
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  16. Incommensurability and Theory Change.Howard Sankey - 2011 - In Steven Hales (ed.), A Companion to Relativism. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 456-474.
    The paper explores the relativistic implications of the thesis of incommensurability. A semantic form of incommensurability due to semantic variation between theories is distinguished from a methodological form due to variation in methodological standards between theories. Two responses to the thesis of semantic incommensurability are dealt with: the first challenges the idea of untranslatability to which semantic incommensurability gives rise; the second holds that relations of referential continuity eliminate semantic incommensurability. It is then argued that (...)
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  17. Against Incommensurability.Michael Devitt - 1979 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 57 (1):29-50.
  18. Incommensurable values.John Broome - 2000 - In Roger Crisp & Brad Hooker (eds.), Well-Being and Morality: Essays in Honour of James Griffin. Clarendon Press. pp. 21--38.
    Two options are incommensurate in value if neither is better than the other, and if a small improvement or worsening of one does not necessarily make it determinately better or worse than the other. If a person faces a sequence of choices between incommensurate options, she may end up with a worse options than she could have had, even though none of her choices are irrational. Yet it seems that rationality should save her from this bad outcome. This is the (...)
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  19.  55
    Incommensurability and Agency.Joseph Raz - 1998 - In Engaging Reason: On the Theory of Value and Action. Oxford University Press. pp. 110-28.
    Human agents act for reasons that contribute to their good. However, in our explanation of why agents act for reasons that depend on what they value, we encounter the problem of situations in which goods are neither better than others nor are of equal value. The incommensurability of value can then be seen to lead to an incommensurability of reasons for action. Examining rationalist and classical conceptions of human agency, Raz uses the presence of incommensurability to understand (...)
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  20. Incommensurability, Translation and Understanding.Howard Sankey - 1991 - Philosophical Quarterly 41 (165):414-426.
    This paper addresses the issue of how it is possible to understand the language of an incommensurable theory. The aim is to defend the idea of translation failure against the objection that it incoherently precludes understanding.
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  21. Incommensurability and Cross-Language Communication.Xinli Wang - 2007 - Ashgate Publishing Ltd, England.
    Against the received translation-failure interpretation, this book presents a presuppositional interpretation of incommensurability, that is, the thesis of incommensurability as cross-language communication breakdown due to the incompatible metaphysical presuppositions underlying two competing presuppositional languages, such as scientific languages. This semantically sound, epistemologically well-established, and metaphysically profound interpretation not only affirms the tenability of the notion of incommensurability and confirms the reality of the phenomenon of incommensurability, but also makes some significant contributions to the discussion of many (...)
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  22.  1
    Incommensurability and its Implications for Practical Reasoning, Ethics and Justice.Martijn Boot - 2017 - Rowman & Littlefield International.
    This highly original book sheds new light on aspects of incommensurability of values and its implications for ethics and justice. It provides original and innovative analysis of the characteristics of incommensurability in relation to values, and explores the implications of incommensurability for ethics, justice and public decision-making.
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  23. Value Incomparability and Incommensurability.Ruth Chang - 2015 - In Iwao Hirose & Jonas Olson (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Value Theory. Oxford University Press.
    This introductory article describes the phenomena of incommensurability and incomparability, how they are related, and why they are important. Since incomparability is the more significant phenomenon, the paper takes that as its focus. It gives a detailed account of what incomparability is, investigates the relation between the incomparability of values and the incomparability of alternatives for choice, distinguishes incomparability from the related phenomena of parity, indeterminacy, and noncomparability, and, finally, defends a view about practical justification that vindicates the importance (...)
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  24.  42
    Incommensurability in Population Ethics.Jacob Nebel - 2015 - Dissertation, University of Oxford
    Values are incommensurable when they cannot be measured on a single cardinal scale. Many philosophers suggest that incommensurability can help us solve the problems of population ethics. I agree. But some philosophers claim that populations bear incommensurable values merely because they contain different numbers of people, perhaps within some range. I argue that mere differences in how many people exist, even within some range, do not suffice for incommensurability. I argue that the intuitive neutrality of creating happy people (...)
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  25. Incommensurability of Values and its Implications for Justice.Martijn Boot - 2017 - Rowman & Littlefield International.
    This highly original book sheds new light on aspects of incommensurability of values and its implications for ethics and justice. It provides original and innovative analysis of the characteristics of incommensurability in relation to values, and explores the implications of incommensurability for ethics, justice and public decision-making.
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  26. Incommensurable Alternatives and Rational Choice.Chrisoula Andreou - 2005 - Ratio 18 (3):249–261.
    I consider the implications of incommensurability for the assumption, in rational choice theory, that a rational agent’s preferences are complete. I argue that, contrary to appearances, the completeness assumption and the existence of incommensurability are compatible. Indeed, reflection on incommensurability suggests that one’s preferences should be complete over even the incommensurable alternatives one faces.
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  27. Incommensurability, Realism, and Meta-Incommensurability.Eric Oberheim & Paul Hoyningen-Huene - 1997 - Theoria 12 (3):447-465.
    The essay begins with a detailed consideration of the introduction of incommensurability by Feyerabend in 1962 which exposes several historically inaccurate claims about incommensurability. Section 2 is a coneise argument against causal theories of reference as used as arguments against incommensurability. We object to this strategy because it begs the question by presupposing realism. Section 3 introduces and discusses a hypothesis that w'e call meta-incommensurability which provides the reason for the wide-spread accusation of question-begging and use (...)
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  28.  79
    Incommensurability.Harold I. Brown - 1983 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 26 (1):3 – 29.
    The thesis that certain competing scientific theories are incommensurable was introduced by Kuhn and Feyerabend in 1962 and has been a subject of widespread critique. Critics have generally taken incommensurable theories to be theories which cannot be compared in a rational manner, but both Kuhn and Feyerabend have explicitly rejected this interpretation, and Feyerabend has discussed ways in which such comparisons can be made in a number of his writings. This paper attempts to clarify the incommensurability thesis through the (...)
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  29. Incommensurability Naturalized.Alexander Bird - 2007 - In L'ena Soler, Howard Sankey & Paul Hoyningen-Huene (eds.), Rethinking Scientific Change and Theory Comparison. Spinger. pp. 21--39.
    In this paper I argue that we can understand incommensurability in a naturalistic, psychological manner. Cognitive habits can be acquired and so differ between individuals. Drawing on psychological work concerning analogical thinking and thinking with schemata, I argue that incommensurability arises between individuals with different cognitive habits and between groups with different shared cognitive habits.
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  30. Can Kuhn’s Taxonomic Incommensurability Be an Image of Science?Seungbae Park - 2018 - In The Kuhnian Image of Science: Time for a Decisive Transformation? London: pp. 61–74.
    I criticize Kuhn’s (1962/1970) taxonomic incommensurability thesis as follows. (i) His argument for it is neither deductively sound nor inductively correct. (ii) It clashes with his account of scientific development that employs evolutionary theory. (iii) Even if two successive paradigms are taxonomically incommensurable, they have some overlapping theoretical claims, as selectivists point out. (iv) Since scientific revolutions were rare in the recent past, as historical optimists observe, they will also be rare in the future. Where scientific revolution is rare, (...)
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  31.  88
    Incommensurability Reconsidered.Harold I. Brown - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 36 (1):149-169.
    In his later writings Kuhn reconsidered his earlier account of incommensurability, clarifying some aspects, modifying others, and explicitly rejecting some of his earlier claims. In Kuhn’s new account incommensurability does not pose a problem for the rational evaluation of competing scientific theories, but does pose a problem for certain forms of realism. Kuhn maintains that, because of incommensurability, the notion that science might seek to learn the nature of things as they are in themselves is incoherent. I (...)
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  32.  99
    Incommensurability and the Discontinuity of Evidence.Jed Z. Buchwald & George E. Smith - 2001 - Perspectives on Science 9 (4):463-498.
    Incommensurability between successive scientific theories—the impossibility of empirical evidence dictating the choice between them—was Thomas Kuhn's most controversial proposal. Toward defending it, he directed much effort over his last 30 years into formulating precise conditions under which two theories would be undeniably incommensurable with one another. His first step, in the late 1960s, was to argue that incommensurability must result when two theories involve incompatible taxonomies. The problem he then struggled with, never obtaining a solution that he found (...)
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  33.  36
    'The Incommensurability of Scientific Theories'.Eric Oberheim & Paul Hoyningen-Huene - unknown - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  34. Incommensurability.Muhammad Ali Khalidi - 1999 - In W. H. Newton-Smith (ed.), A Companion to Philosophy of Science. Blackwell. pp. 172-80.
    Along with “paradigm” and “scientific revolution,” “incommensurability” is one of the three most influential expressions associated with the “new philosophy of science” first articulated in the early 1960s by Thomas Kuhn and Paul Feyerabend. But, despite the fact that it has been widely discussed, opinions still differ widely as to the content and significance of the claim of incommensurability.
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  35. Incommensurability and Theory Comparison in Experimental Biology.Marcel Weber - 2002 - Biology and Philosophy 17 (2):155-169.
    Incommensurability of scientific theories, as conceived by Thomas Kuhnand Paul Feyerabend, is thought to be a major or even insurmountable obstacletothe empirical comparison of these theories. I examine this problem in light ofaconcrete case from the history of experimental biology, namely the oxidativephosphorylation controversy in biochemistry (ca. 1961-1977). After a briefhistorical exposition, I show that the two main competing theories which werethe subject of the ox-phos controversy instantiate some of the characteristicfeatures of incommensurable theories, namely translation failure,non-corresponding predictions, and (...)
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  36. Kuhn on Incommensurability and Theory Choice.Alex Davies - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (4):571-579.
    The incommensurability of two theories seems to problematize theory comparisons, which allow for the selection of the better of the two theories. If so, it becomes puzzling how the quality of theories can improve with time, i.e. how science can progress across changes in incommensurable theories. I argue that in papers published in the 1990s, Kuhn provided a novel way to resolve this apparent tension between incommensurability and scientific progress. He put forward an account of their compatibility which (...)
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  37.  76
    Incommensurability, Relativism, Scepticism: Reflections on Acquiring a Concept.Nathaniel Goldberg & Matthew Rellihan - 2008 - Ratio 21 (2):147–167.
    Some opponents of the incommensurability thesis, such as Davidson and Rorty, have argued that the very idea of incommensurability is incoherent and that the existence of alternative and incommensurable conceptual schemes is a conceptual impossibility. If true, this refutes Kuhnian relativism and Kantian scepticism in one fell swoop. For Kuhnian relativism depends on the possibility of alternative, humanly accessible conceptual schemes that are incommensurable with one another, and the Kantian notion of a realm of unknowable things-in-themselves gives rise (...)
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  38.  16
    Incommensurability and Balancing.Francisco J. Urbina - 2015 - Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 35 (3):575-605.
    A common objection to the use of balancing tests in human rights adjudication is that it is not possible to perform a quantitative comparison between gains and losses for rights or the public good by means only of rational criteria. Here I provide a general account of the incommensurability objection, with the aim of making explicit its scope, and of dispelling some common misconceptions surrounding it. Relying on this account, I engage with recent defences of balancing against the (...) objection. (shrink)
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  39.  80
    Incommensurability: An Overview.Howard Sankey - 1999 - Divinatio 10:135-48.
    Opening remarks delivered at "Incommensurability (and related matters)" conference, Hanover, June 1999.
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  40. Incommensurability and Rationality in Engineering Design: The Case of Functional Decomposition.Dingmar van Eck - 2011 - Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology 15 (2):118-136.
    In engineering design research different models of functional decomposition are advanced side-by-side. In this paper I explain and validate this co-existence of models in terms of the Kuhnian thesis of methodological incommensurability. I advance this analysis in terms of the thesis’ construal of theory choice in terms of values, expanding this notion to the engineering domain. I further argue that the implicated threat of the thesis to rational theory choice has no force in the functional decomposition case: co-existence of (...)
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  41.  67
    Incommensurability, Comparability, and Non-Reductive Ontological Relations.José L. Falguera & Xavier Donato-Rodríguez - 2016 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 47 (1):37-58.
    We begin by highlighting some points related to Kuhn’s later thoughts on the incommensurability thesis and then show to what extent the standard version of the thesis given by the structuralist metatheory allows us to capture Kuhn’s ideas. Our main aim is to establish what constitutes the basis of comparability between incommensurable theories, even in cases of incommensurability with respect to theoretical and non-theoretical terms. We propose that comparability between incommensurable theories requires some connection between their respective ontologies (...)
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  42.  56
    Incommensurability and the Best of All Possible Worlds.Stephen Grover - 1998 - The Monist 81 (4):648-668.
    In “The Best of All Possible Worlds” William E. Mann argues that some possible worlds are morally incommensurable with some others, because some choices are between incompatible alternatives that are themselves incommensurable. The best possible world must be better than, and hence commensurable with, every other world. So if anyone in the actual world ever faces a choice between incompatible alternatives that are morally incommensurable, this is not the best possible world. But it seems that some of us do, on (...)
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  43.  25
    The Incommensurability of Nursing as a Practice and the Customer Service Model: An Evolutionary Threat to the Discipline.Wendy J. Austin - 2011 - Nursing Philosophy 12 (3):158-166.
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  44.  67
    The Incommensurability of Psychoanalysis and History.Joan W. Scott - 2012 - History and Theory 51 (1):63-83.
    ABSTRACTThis article argues that, although psychoanalysis and history have different conceptions of time and causality, there can be a productive relationship between them. Psychoanalysis can force historians to question their certainty about facts, narrative, and cause; it introduces disturbing notions about unconscious motivation and the effects of fantasy on the making of history. This was not the case with the movement for psychohistory that began in the 1970s. Then the influence of American ego‐psychology on history‐writing promoted the idea of compatibility (...)
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  45.  32
    Incommensurability and Multiple Models: Representations of the Structure of Matter in Undergraduate Chemistry Students.Fernando Flores-Camacho, Leticia Gallegos-Cázares, Andoni Garritz & Alejandra García-Franco - 2007 - Science & Education 16 (7-8):775-800.
  46.  82
    Incommensurability: Its Implications for the Patient/Physician Relation.R. M. Veatch & W. E. Stempsey - 1995 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 20 (3):253-269.
    Scientific authority and physician authority are both challenged by Thomas Kuhn's concept of incommensurability. If competing “paradigms” or “world views” cannot rationally be compared, we have no means to judge the truth of any particular view. However, the notion of local or partial incommensurability might provide a framework for understanding the implications of contemporary philosophy of science for medicine. We distinguish four steps in the process of translating medical science into clinical decisions: the doing of the science, the (...)
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  47.  71
    Incommensurability and the Priority of Metaphysics.Michael Devitt - 2001 - Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science 216:143-158.
  48. Incommensurability and Measurement.Brigitte Falkenburg - 1997 - Theoria 12 (3):467-491.
    Does incommensurability threaten the realist’s claim that physical magnitudes express properties of natural kinds? Some clarification comes from measurement theory and scientific practice. The standard (empiricist) theory of measurement is metaphysically neutral. But its representational operational and axiomatic aspects give rise to several kinds of a one-sided metaphysics. In scientific practice. the scales of physical quantities (e.g. the mass or length scale) are indeed constructed from measuring methods which have incompatible axiomatic foundations. They cover concepts which belong to incomensurable (...)
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  49. Acupuncture, Incommensurability, and Conceptual Change.Paul Thagard & R. Zhu - 2003 - In Gale M. Sinatra & Paul R. Pintrich (eds.), Intentional Conceptual Change. L. Erlbaum. pp. 79--102.
    This paper is an investigation of the degree of incommensurability between Western scientific medicine and traditional Chinese medicine, focusing on the practice and theory of acupuncture. We describe the structure of traditional Chinese medicine, oriented around such concepts as yin, yang, qi, and xing, and discuss how the conceptual and explanatory differences between Western medicine and traditional Chinese medicine generate impediments to their comparison and evaluation. We argue that the linguistic, conceptual, ontological, and explanatory impediments can to a large (...)
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  50. Incommensurability: What's the Problem.James Griffin - 1997 - In Ruth Chang (ed.), Incommensurability, Incomparability and Practical Reason. Harvard University Press. pp. 42.
     
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