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Summary The idea that some scientific theories may be incommensurable was introduced by Thomas Kuhn and Paul Feyerabend in 1962. In Kuhn's original discussion, the idea of incommensurability included semantic, perceptual and methodological components. By contrast, Feyerabend's discussion of incommensurability restricted it to the semantic sphere. The use of the term 'incommensurability' in the philosophy of science is a borrowing from mathematics, where it implies the absence of a common unit of measurement. Applied to the philosophy of science, it may be taken to mean that there are no shared standards by which competing theories are to be evaluated. In some contexts, it may be taken to mean that the content of competing theories is unable to be directly compared due to semantic variation between the theories.
Key works The original discussion of incommensurability by Feyerabend and Kuhn may be found in Feyerabend 1962 and Kuhn 1962.  For earlier discussion of meaning change, see Feyerabend 1958.   For later discussion by Feyerabend, see Feyerabend 1974, or later editions, e.g. Feyerabend 1975.  In later work, Kuhn introduced significant refinements of his version of incommensurability.  See especially Kuhn 1983.
Introductions Brown 1983; Brown 2005; Devitt 1979; Sankey 1993; Oberheim & Hoyningen-Huene ms
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  1. Translation, history of science, and items not on the menu: a response to Susan Carey.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    In “Conceptual Differences Between Children and Adults,” Susan Carey discusses phlogiston theory in order to defend the view that there can be non-translatability between scientific languages. I present an objection to her defence.
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  2. Die These der semantischen Inkommensurabilität.Johannes Heinle - manuscript
    Was kann und sollte der wissenschaftliche Realist auf die These(n) der semantischen Inkommensurabilität entgegnen?
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  3. Al-Farabi on acquiring a philosophical concept.Muhammad Ali Khalidi - forthcoming - British Journal for the History of Philosophy:1-21.
    This paper focuses on a discussion in Abu Nasr al-Farabi’s Book of Letters (Kitāb al-Ḥurūf), which has to do with the importation of philosophical (including scientific) discourse from one language or nation (ummah) to another. The question of importing philosophical discourse from one language or nation to another touches on Farabi’s views on a number of important philosophical questions. It reveals something about his views on the nature of philosophical and scientific concepts and their relation to concepts in non-philosophical or (...)
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  4. Epistemic circularity and epistemic incommensurability.Michael P. Lynch - forthcoming - Social Epistemology:262--77.
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  5. El enfoque histórico filosófico y la didáctica de la ciencia – A 60 años de la publicación de La estructura de las revoluciones científicas.Ginnobili Santiago - 2022 - Revista De Educación En Biología 25 (2):3-21.
    En este trabajo reflexionaré acerca de las relaciones entre la filosofía y la didáctica de la ciencia, centrándome en especial en las ideas de Thomas Kuhn. Estas relaciones resultan bastante complejas, pues, las preocupaciones didácticas y de comunicación pública de la ciencia se encuentran en el centro de los objetivos de la filosofía de la ciencia de comienzos de siglo XX así como del contexto de escritura de La estructura de las revoluciones científicas. Por otro lado, el enfoque de Kuhn (...)
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  6. New Philosophical Perspectives on Scientific Progress.Yafeng Shan (ed.) - 2022 - New York: Routledge.
    This collection of original essays offers a comprehensive examination of scientific progress, which has been a central topic in recent debates in philosophy of science. Traditionally, debates over scientific progress have focused on different methodological approaches, notably the epistemic and semantic approaches. The chapters in Part I of the book examine these two traditional approaches, as well as the newly revived functional and newly developed noetic approaches. Part II features in-depth case studies of scientific progress from the history of science. (...)
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  7. Taxonomies, Networks, and Lexicons: A Study of Kuhn’s Post-‘Linguistic Turn’ Philosophy.Vincenzo Politi - 2021 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 33 (2):87-103.
    In his mature works, Kuhn abandons the concept of a paradigm and becomes more interested in the analysis of the conceptual structure of scientific theories. These changes are interpreted as resulting from a ‘linguistic turn’ that Kuhn underwent sometimes around the 1980s. Much of the philosophical discussions about Kuhn’s post-‘linguistic turn’ philosophy revolves around his views on taxonomic concepts. Apart from taxonomy, however, the mature Kuhn introduces other concepts, such as conceptual networks and lexicons. This article distinguishes these three concepts (...)
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  8. Conceptual Change in Perspective.Matthew Shields - 2020 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 63 (9-10):930-958.
    I argue that Sarah Sawyer's and Herman Cappelen's recent accounts of how speakers talk and think about the same concept or topic even when their understandings of that concept or topic substantially diverge risk multiplying our metasemantic categories unnecessarily and fail to prove explanatory. When we look more closely at our actual practices of samesaying, we find that speakers with seemingly incompatible formulations of a subject matter take one another to samesay when they are attempting to arrive at a correct (...)
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  9. Specialisation and the Incommensurability Among Scientific Specialties.Vincenzo Politi - 2019 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 50 (1):129-144.
    In his mature writings, Kuhn describes the process of specialisation as driven by a form of incommensurability, defined as a conceptual/linguistic barrier which promotes and guarantees the insularity of specialties. In this paper, we reject the idea that the incommensurability among scientific specialties is a linguistic barrier. We argue that the problem with Kuhn’s characterisation of the incommensurability among specialties is that he presupposes a rather abstract theory of semantic incommensurability, which he then tries to apply to his description of (...)
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  10. Kuhn's Incommensurability Thesis: Good Examples Still to Be Found.Dusko Prelevic - 2019 - Filozofia Nauki (The Philosophy of Science) 27 (4):61-77.
    In The Structure of Scientific Revolutions,Thomas Kuhn famously argued that scientific revolutions consist in paradigm shifts in which the superseded and the new paradigms are incommensurable. My aim in this paper is to show that neither Kuhn’s examples nor Yafeng Shan’s recently proposed example adequately support this incommensurability thesis. Starting from the distinction between global and local incommensurability, I argue that, on the one hand, local incommensurability does not imply that paradigms are globally incommensurable, and, on the other, that it (...)
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  11. Kuhn’s two accounts of rational disagreement in science: an interpretation and critique.Markus Seidel - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 25):6023-6051.
    Whereas there is much discussion about Thomas Kuhn’s notion of methodological incommensurability and many have seen his ideas as an attempt to allow for rational disagreement in science, so far no serious analysis of how exactly Kuhn aims to account for rational disagreement has been proposed. This paper provides the first in-depth analysis of Kuhn’s account of rational disagreement in science—an account that can be seen as the most prominent attempt to allow for rational disagreement in science. Three things will (...)
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  12. Between History and Philosophy of Science: The Relationship between Kuhn’s Black-Body Theory and Structure.Adam Timmins - 2019 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 9 (2):371-387.
  13. Thomas Kuhn.Alexander Bird - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Thomas Samuel Kuhn (1922–1996) is one of the most influential philosophers of science of the twentieth century, perhaps the most influential. His 1962 book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is one of the most cited academic books of all time. Kuhn’s contribution to the philosophy of science marked not only a break with several key positivist doctrines, but also inaugurated a new style of philosophy of science that brought it closer to the history of science. His account of the development (...)
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  14. Relativistic frameworks and the case for (or against) incommensurability.Jean-Michel Delhôtel - 2018 - Synthese 195 (4):1569-1585.
    The aim of this paper is to address, from a fresh perspective, the question of whether Newtonian mechanics can legitimately be regarded as a limiting case of the special theory of relativity, or whether the two theories should be deemed so radically different as to be incommensurable in the sense of Feyerabend and Kuhn. Firstly, it is argued that focusing on the concept of mass and its transformation across the two varieties of mechanics is bound to leave the issue unsettled. (...)
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  15. The Kuhnian Image of Science: Time for a Decisive Transformation?Moti Mizrahi (ed.) - 2018 - London: Rowman & Littlefield.
    More than 50 years after the publication of Thomas Kuhn’s seminal book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, this volume assesses the adequacy of the Kuhnian model in explaining certain aspects of science, particularly the social and epistemic aspects of science. One argument put forward is that there are no good reasons to accept Kuhn’s incommensurability thesis, according to which scientific revolutions involve the replacement of theories with conceptually incompatible ones. Perhaps, therefore, it is time for another “decisive transformation in the (...)
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  16. The (Lack of) Evidence for the Kuhnian Image of Science.Moti Mizrahi - 2018 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 7 (7):19-24.
    In their reviews of The Kuhnian Image of Science: Time for a Decisive Transformation? (2018), both Markus Arnold (2018) and Amanda Bryant (2018) complain that the contributors who criticize Kuhn’s theory of scientific change have misconstrued his philosophy of science and they praise those who seek to defend the Kuhnian image of science. In what follows, then, I would like to address their claims about misconstruing Kuhn’s theory of scientific change. But my focus here, as in the book, will be (...)
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  17. Kuhn, Pedagogy, and Practice: A Local Reading of Structure.Lydia Patton - 2018 - In Moti Mizrahi (ed.), The Kuhnian Image of Science: Time for a Decisive Transformation? Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.
    Moti Mizrahi has argued that Thomas Kuhn does not have a good argument for the incommensurability of successive scientific paradigms. With Rouse, Andersen, and others, I defend a view on which Kuhn primarily was trying to explain scientific practice in Structure. Kuhn, like Hilary Putnam, incorporated sociological and psychological methods into his history of science. On Kuhn’s account, the education and initiation of scientists into a research tradition is a key element in scientific training and in his explanation of incommensurability (...)
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  18. Kuhn, Relativism and Realism.Howard Sankey - 2018 - In Juha Saatsi (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Scientific Realism. London and New York: Routledge. pp. 72-83.
    The aim of this chapter is to explore the relationship between Kuhn’s views about science and scientific realism. I present an overview of key features of Kuhn’s model of scientific change. The model suggests a relativistic approach to the methods of science. I bring out a conflict between this relativistic approach and a realist approach to the norms of method. I next consider the question of progress and truth. Kuhn’s model is a problem-solving model that proceeds by way of puzzles (...)
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  19. Scientific revolutions, specialization and the discovery of the structure of DNA: toward a new picture of the development of the sciences.Politi Vincenzo - 2018 - Synthese 195 (5):2267-2293.
    In his late years, Thomas Kuhn became interested in the process of scientific specialization, which does not seem to possess the destructive element that is characteristic of scientific revolutions. It therefore makes sense to investigate whether and how Kuhn’s insights about specialization are consistent with, and actually fit, his model of scientific progress through revolutions. In this paper, I argue that the transition toward a new specialty corresponds to a revolutionary change for the group of scientists involved in such a (...)
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  20. 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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  21. What Second Order Science Reveals About Scientific Claims: Incommensurability, Doubt, and a Lack of Explication.Michael Lissack - 2017 - Foundations of Science 22 (3):575-593.
    The traditional sciences often bracket away ambiguity through the imposition of “enabling constraints”—making a set of assumptions and then declaring ceteris paribus. These enabling constraints take the form of uncritically examined presuppositions or “uceps.” Second order science reveals hidden issues, problems and assumptions which all too often escape the attention of the practicing scientist. These hidden values—precisely because they are hidden and not made explicit—can get in the way of the public’s acceptance of a scientific claim. A conflict in understood (...)
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  22. Indigenous and Scientific Kinds.David Ludwig - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (1).
    The aim of this article is to discuss the relation between indigenous and scientific kinds on the basis of contemporary ethnobiological research. I argue that ethnobiological accounts of taxonomic convergence-divergence patters challenge common philosophical models of the relation between folk concepts and natural kinds. Furthermore, I outline a positive model of taxonomic convergence-divergence patterns that is based on Slater's [2014] notion of “stable property clusters” and Franklin-Hall's [2014] discussion of natural kinds as “categorical bottlenecks.” Finally, I argue that this model (...)
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  23. Specialisation, Interdisciplinarity, and Incommensurability.Vincenzo Politi - 2017 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 31 (3):301-317.
    Incommensurability may be regarded as driving specialisation, on the one hand, and as posing some problems to interdisciplinarity, on the other hand. It may be argued, however, that incommensurability plays no role in either specialisation or interdisciplinarity. Scientific specialties could be defined as simply 'different' (that is, about different things), rather than 'incommensurable' (that is, competing for the explanation of the same phenomena). Interdisciplinarity could be viewed as the co- ordinated effort of scientists possessing complemetary and interlocking skills, and not (...)
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  24. Objectivity and ‘First Philosophies’ [Chapter 1 of Objectivity].Guy Axtell - 2016 - In Objectivity. Cambridge UK; Malden MA: Polity Press; Wiley. pp. 19-45.
    Interest in the concept of objectivity is part of the legacy of Modern Philosophy, tracing back to a new way of understanding the starting point of philosophical reflection. It traces back to an “epistemological turn” that attended the development of New Science of the 16th and 17th Century. These origins are an indication that what a thinker takes as the starting point of philosophical reflection deeply affects how they approach key philosophical concepts, including truth, knowledge, and objectivity. Chapter 1 Introduces (...)
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  25. Objectivity in the Natural Sciences [Chapter 3 of Objectivity].Guy Axtell - 2016 - In Objectivity. Cambridge, UL; Malden, MA: Polity Press; Wiley. pp. 69-108.
    Chapter 3 surveys objectivity in the natural sciences. Thomas Kuhn problematized the logicist understanding of the objectivity or rationality of scientific change, providing a very different picture than that of the cumulative or step-wise progress of theoretical science. Theories often compete, and when consensus builds around one competitor it may be for a variety of reasons other than just the direct logical implications of experimental successes and failures. Kuhn pitted the study of the actual history of science against what Hans (...)
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  26. Objectivism, Relativism, and the Cartesian Anxiety [Chapter 2 of Objectivity].Guy Axtell - 2016 - In Objectivity. Cambridge, UK; Malden, MA: Polity Press; Wiley. pp. 46-65.
    Chapter 2 primarily discusses Bernstein’s account and its differences both from Nagle’s metaphysical realism and Rorty’s postmodern pragmatism. Trying to diagnose assumptions that polarize thinkers to become objectivists and relativists, Bernstein articulates a Cartesian Anxiety he thinks they ironically both share. Descartes’ anti-skeptical wave of rigor was presented as a rationalistic project of rebuilding an unstable and dilapidated ‘house of knowledge’ on secure philosophical and scientific foundations. His overtly foundationalist metaphor of rebuilding from timbers set “in rock or hard clay” (...)
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  27. 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 that can (...)
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  28. O Relativismo Cognitivo é Autorrefutante?Robinson Guitarrari - 2016 - Trans/Form/Ação 39 (1):139-158.
    RESUMO: Hilary Putnam procurou solapar o relativismo cognitivo, mediante acusações de incoerência autodestrutiva. A concepção de Thomas Kuhn de desenvolvimento do conhecimento científico ocupa um lugar de destaque nesse empreendimento crítico, e a incomensurabilidade entre paradigmas rivais constitui o núcleo da disputa. Putnam afirmou que a incomensurabilidade é autorrefutante, levando em conta apenas sua dimensão semântica. Este artigo examina essa investida antirrelativista. Considero dois sentidos de autorrefutação, o material e o formal, e defendo que essa acusação não atinge a referida (...)
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  29. Reasons for relativism: Feyerabend on the ‘Rise of Rationalism’ in ancient Greece.Helmut Heit - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 57:70-78.
    This paper argues that essential features of Feyerabend's philosophy, namely his radicalization of critical rationalism and his turn to relativism, could be understood better in the light of his engagement with early Greek thought. In contrast to his earlier, Popperian views he came to see the Homeric worldview as a genuine alternative, which was not falsified by the Presocratics. Unlike socio–psychological and externalist accounts my reading of his published and unpublished material suggests that his alternative reconstruction of the ancient beginnings (...)
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  30. The Demise of the Incommensurability Thesis.Howard Sankey - 2016 - In Moti Mizrahi (ed.), The Kuhnian Image of Science: Time for a Decisive Transformation? London and New York: Rowman and Littlefield. pp. 75-91.
    The paper briefly reviews the main formulations of the incommensurability thesis by Feyerabend and Kuhn, as well as the main criticisms leveled against it. The question is then raised of whether there is a "phenomenon" of incommensurability that has been "discovered". It is argued that there is no such phenomenon.
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  31. 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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  32. The Chemical Revolution revisited.Hasok Chang - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 49:91-98.
  33. Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions - 50 Years On.William J. Devlin & Alisa Bokulich (eds.) - 2015 - Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science, vol. 311. Springer.
    In 1962, the publication of Thomas Kuhn’s Structure ‘revolutionized’ the way one conducts philosophical and historical studies of science. Through the introduction of both memorable and controversial notions, such as paradigms, scientific revolutions, and incommensurability, Kuhn argued against the traditionally accepted notion of scientific change as a progression towards the truth about nature, and instead substituted the idea that science is a puzzle solving activity, operating under paradigms, which become discarded after it fails to respond accordingly to anomalous challenges and (...)
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  34. The Theory-Ladenness of Experiment.Allan Franklin - 2015 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 46 (1):155-166.
    Theory-ladenness is the view that observation cannot function in an unbiased way in the testing of theories because observational judgments are affected by the theoretical beliefs of the observer. Its more radical cousin, incommensurability, argues that because there is no theory-neutral language, paradigms, or worldviews, cannot be compared because in different paradigms the meaning of observational terms is different, even when the word used is the same. There are both philosophical and practical components to these problems. I argue, using a (...)
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  35. What’s the Support for Kuhn’s Incommensurability Thesis? A Response to Mizrahi and Patton.James Marcum - 2015 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 2015.
    Moti Mizrahi (2015) examines whether there are “good arguments” to support Kuhn’s taxonomic incommensurability (TI) thesis. He concludes that there is neither “valid deductive” nor “strong inductive” support for the thesis and that consequently TI should not be believed or accepted. In response, Lydia Patton (2015) claims that the most “influential” arguments within the history of science are abductive or inference to the best explanation (IBE) rather than deductive or inductive arguments. After reviewing and analyzing this exchange, I propose that (...)
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  36. The Evolving Notion and Role of Kuhn’s Incommensurability Thesis.James A. Marcum - 2015 - In Alisa Bokulich & William J. Devlin (eds.), Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions - 50 Years On. Springer Verlag.
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  37. Kuhn’s Incommensurability Thesis: What’s the Argument?Moti Mizrahi - 2015 - Social Epistemology 29 (4):361-378.
    In this paper, I argue that there is neither valid deductive support nor strong inductive support for Kuhn’s incommensurability thesis. There is no valid deductive support for Kuhn’s incommensurability thesis because, from the fact that the reference of the same kind terms changes or discontinues from one theoretical framework to another, it does not necessarily follow that these two theoretical frameworks are taxonomically incommensurable. There is no strong inductive support for Kuhn’s incommensurability thesis, since there are rebutting defeaters against it (...)
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  38. A Reply to Patton's "Incommensurability and the Bonfire of the Meta-Theories".Moti Mizrahi - 2015 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 4 (10):51-53.
  39. A Reply to James Marcum’s “What’s the Support for Kuhn’s Incommensurability Thesis?”.Moti Mizrahi - 2015 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 4 (11):21-24.
    I reply to James Marcum’s “What’s the Support for Kuhn’s Incommensurability Thesis? A Response to Mizrahi and Patton”.
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  40. Theory Choice and Social Choice: Kuhn Vindicated.Michael Morreau - 2015 - Mind 124 (493):239-262.
    In a recent article, Okasha challenges Kuhn’s claim that there is no ‘neutral’ algorithm for theory choice. He argues using Arrow’s ‘impossibility’ theorem that — except under certain favourable conditions concerning the measurability and comparability of theoretical values — there are no theory choice algorithms at all, neutral or otherwise. But Okasha’s argument does not apply to important theory choice problems, among them the case of Copernican and Ptolemaic astronomy that much occupied Kuhn. The reason is that Kuhn’s choice criteria (...)
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  41. 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 a given paradigm.
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  42. La inconmensurabilidad entre las teorías planetarias de Ptolomeo y Copérnico: dos enfoques contemporáneos.Ariel Jonathan Roffé - 2015 - In J. Ahumada, N. Venturelli & S. Seno Chibeni (eds.), Selección de Trabajos del IX Encuentro AFHIC y las XXV Jornadas de Epistemología e Historia de la ciencia. Córdoba, Argentina: pp. 605-614.
  43. Ciencia, realidad y racionalidad.Howard Sankey - 2015 - University of Cauca Press.
    This is a collection of my essays in the philosophy of science which have been translated into Spanish.
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  44. Reconsidering the Carnap-Kuhn Connection.Jonathan Y. Tsou - 2015 - In Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions - 50 Years On. Springer Verlag.
    Recently, some philosophers of science (e.g., Gürol Irzik, Michael Friedman) have challenged the ‘received view’ on the relationship between Rudolf Carnap and Thomas Kuhn, suggesting that there is a close affinity (rather than opposition) between their philosophical views. In support of this argument, these authors cite Carnap and Kuhn’s similar views on incommensurability, theory-choice, and scientific revolutions. Against this revisionist view, I argue that the philosophical relationship between Carnap and Kuhn should be regarded as opposed rather than complementary. In particular, (...)
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  45. Incommensurability, relativism, and the epistemic authority of science.Steven Bland - 2014 - Episteme 11 (4):463-473.
  46. A new maneuver against the epistemic relativist.J. Adam Carter & Emma C. Gordon - 2014 - Synthese 191 (8).
    Epistemic relativists often appeal to an epistemic incommensurability thesis. One notable example is the position advanced by Wittgenstein in On certainty (1969). However, Ian Hacking’s radical denial of the possibility of objective epistemic reasons for belief poses, we suggest, an even more forceful challenge to mainstream meta-epistemology. Our central objective will be to develop a novel strategy for defusing Hacking’s line of argument. Specifically, we show that the epistemic incommensurability thesis can be resisted even if we grant the very insights (...)
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  47. Meta-incommensurability Revisited.Hyundeuk Cheon - 2014 - Theoria 29 (2):243-259.
    A popular rejoinder to the potential threat that incommensurability might pose to scientific realism has been the referential response: despite meaning variance, there can be referential continuity, which is sufficient for rational theory choice. This response has been charged with meta-incommensurability, according to which it begs the question by assuming realist metaphysics. However, realists take it to be a rhetorical device that hinders productive discussion. By reconstructing the debate, this paper aims to demonstrate two things. First, there are unexpected commonalities (...)
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  48. 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 incommensurability of (...)
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  49. Kuhn’s notion of scientific progress: “Reduction” between incommensurable theories in a rigid structuralist framework.Christian Damböck - 2014 - Synthese 191 (10):2195-2213.
    In the last two sections of Structure, Thomas Kuhn first develops his famous threefold conception of the incommensurability of scientific paradigms and, subsequently, a conception of scientific progress as growth of empirical strength. The latter conception seems to be at odds with the former in that semantic incommensurability appears to imply the existence of situations where scientific progress in Kuhns sense can no longer exist. In contrast to this seeming inconsistency of Kuhns conception, we will try to show in this (...)
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  50. The Higher Whitewash.Steve Fuller - 2014 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 44 (1):86-101.
    An assessment of Joel Isaac’s recent, well-researched attempt to provide a context for the emergence of Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. That context consisted in the open space for cross-disciplinary projects between the natural and social sciences that existed at Harvard during the presidency of James Bryant Conant, from the early 1930s to the early 1950s. Isaac’s work at the Harvard archives adds interesting detail to a story whose general contours are already known. In particular, he reinforces the view (...)
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