Ratio 21 (2):147–167 (2008)

Authors
Nathaniel Goldberg
Washington and Lee University
Abstract
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 to the possibility of humanly inaccessible schemes that are incommensurable with even our best current or future science. In what follows we argue that the possibility of incommensurability of either the Kuhnian or the Kantian variety is inescapable and that this conclusion is forced upon us by a simple consideration of what is involved in acquiring a concept. It turns out that the threats from relativism and scepticism are real, and that anyone, including Davidson himself, who has ever defended an account of concept acquisition is committed to one or the other of these two possibilities.1.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9329.2008.00392.x
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 65,581
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - University of Chicago Press.
Reason, Truth and History.Hilary Putnam - 1981 - Cambridge University Press.
Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 1980 - In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 431-433.

View all 24 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Response‐Dependence, Noumenalism, and Ontological Mystery.Nathaniel Goldberg - 2009 - European Journal of Philosophy 17 (4):469-488.
Davidson, Dualism, and Truth.Nathaniel Goldberg - 2012 - Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 1 (7).

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Scepticism, Relativism and the Argument From the Criterion.Howard Sankey - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 43 (1):182-190.
Incommensurability in Cognitive Guise.Muhammad Ali Khalidi - 1998 - Philosophical Psychology 11 (1):29 – 43.
Kuhn's Changing Concept of Incommensurability.Howard Sankey - 1993 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (4):759-774.
Pragmatic Incommensurability.John Collier - 1984 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1984:146 - 153.
A Consistent Relativism.Steven D. Hales - 1997 - Mind 106 (421):33-52.
Epistemological Relativism in its Latest Form.Harvey Siegel - 1980 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 23 (1):107 – 117.
A Davidsonian Argument Against Incommensurability.Igor Douven & Henk W. De Regt - 2002 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 16 (2):157 – 169.
Practical Incommensurability and the Phenomenological Basis of Robust Realism.Mark A. Wrathall - 1999 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 42 (1):79 – 88.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
76 ( #144,947 of 2,461,403 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #298,755 of 2,461,403 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes