From Fleck's denkstil to Kuhn's paradigm: Conceptual schemes and incommensurability

International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 17 (1):75 – 92 (2003)
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Abstract

This article argues that the limited influence of Ludwik Fleck's ideas on philosophy of science is due not only to their indirect dissemination by way of Thomas Kuhn, but also to an incommensurability between the standard conceptual framework of history and philosophy of science and Fleck's own more integratedly historico-social and praxis-oriented approach to understanding the evolution of scientific discovery. What Kuhn named "paradigm" offers a periphrastic rendering or oblique translation of Fleck's Denkstil/Denkkollektiv , a derivation that may also account for the lability of the term "paradigm". This was due not to Kuhn's unwillingness to credit Fleck but rather to the cold war political circumstances surrounding the writing of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions . Following a discussion of Fleck's anatomical allusions, I include a brief discussion of Aristotle (on menstruation and darkened mirrors) and conclude with a reference to the productivity of error in Mach and Nietzsche.

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Babette Babich
Fordham University

References found in this work

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - University of Chicago Press.
The Social Construction of What?Ian Hacking - 1999 - Harvard University Press.
After Virtue.A. MacIntyre - 1981 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 46 (1):169-171.
Genesis and Development of a Scientific Fact.Ludwik Fleck - 1979 - University of Chicago Press.

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