Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions revisited

Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 26 (1):75 - 92 (1995)
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The present paper argues that there is an affinity between Kuhn's "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" and Wittgenstein's philosophy. It is maintained, in particular, that Kuhn's notion of paradigm draws on such Wittgensteinian concepts as language games, family resemblance, rules, forms of life. It is also claimed that Kuhn's incommensurability thesis is a sequel of the theory of meaning supplied by Wittgenstein's later philosophy. As such its assessment is not fallacious, since it is not an empirical hypothesis and it does not have the relativistic implications Kuhn's critics repeatedly indicated. Although concepts are indeed relative to a language game or paradigm, interparadigmatic intelligibility is preserved through the standard techniques of translation or praxis. The impossibility of radical translation which is captured by the claim of incommensurability lies with that which cannot be said but only shown



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Vasso Kindi
University of Athens

References found in this work

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Edited by Ian Hacking.
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas Samuel Kuhn - 1962 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Edited by Otto Neurath.
Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature.Richard Rorty - 1979 - Princeton University Press.
Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge.Imre Lakatos & Alan Musgrave (eds.) - 1970 - Cambridge University Press.
On Certainty (ed. Anscombe and von Wright).Ludwig Wittgenstein - 1969 - New York and London: Harper Torchbooks. Edited by G. E. M. Anscombe, G. H. von Wright & Mel Bochner.

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