Philosophies 2 (4):24 (2017)

Jamie Shaw
University of Toronto, St. George Campus
In this paper, we demonstrate how a systematic taxonomy of stances can help elucidate two classic debates of the historical turn—the Lakatos–Feyerabend debate concerning theory rejection and the Feyerabend–Kuhn debate about pluralism during normal science. We contend that Kuhn, Feyerabend, and Lakatos were often talking at cross-purposes due to the lack of an agreed upon taxonomy of stances. Specifically, we provide three distinct stances that scientists take towards theories: acceptance of a theory as the best available description of its domain, use of a theory in practical applications, and pursuit of a theory. We argue that in the Lakatos–Feyerabend debate, Lakatos was concerned with acceptance whereas Feyerabend was mainly concerned with pursuit. Additionally, we show how Feyerabend and Kuhn’s debate on the role of pluralism/monism in normal science involved a crucial conflation of all three stances. Finally, we outline a few general lessons concerning the process of scientific change.
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DOI 10.3390/philosophies2040024
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References found in this work BETA

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - University of Chicago Press.
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas Samuel Kuhn - 1962 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Falsification and the Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes.Imre Lakatos - 1970 - In Imre Lakatos & Alan Musgrave (eds.), Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge. Cambridge University Press. pp. 91-196.
Problems of Empiricism.Paul Feyerabend - 1965 - Cambridge University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

From Planning to Entrepreneurship: On the Political Economy of Scientific Pursuit.Erik Baker - 2022 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 92:27-35.

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