In: Paradigms for Language Theory and Other Essays.
Paradigms for language theory and other essays - aqotwf-essa
Kuhn's influence outside of professional philosophy of science mayhave been even greater than it was within it. The social sciences inparticular took up Kuhn with enthusiasm. There are primarily tworeasons for this. First, Kuhn's picture of science appeared to permita more liberal conception of what science is than hitherto, one thatcould be taken to include disciplines such as sociology andpsychoanalysis. Secondly, Kuhn's rejection of rules as determiningscientific outcomes appeared to permit appeal to other factors,external to science, in explaining why a scientific revolution tookthe course that it did.
Literary Theory | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Of course, the referentialist response shows only that referencecan be retained, not that it must be. Consequently it is only apartial defence of realism against semantic incommensurability. Afurther component of the defence of realism against incommensurabilitymust be an epistemic one. For referentialism shows that a term canretain reference and hence that the relevant theories may be such thatthe later constitutes a better approximation to the truth than theearlier. Nonetheless it may not be possible for philosophers orothers to know that there has been such progress. Methodologicalincommensurability in particular seems to threaten the possibility ofthis knowledge. Kuhn thinks that in order to be in a position tocompare theories from older and more recent periods of normal scienceone needs a perspective external to each and indeed any era ofscience–what he calls an ‘Archimedean platform’(1992, 14). However, we never are able to escape from our currentperspective. A realist response to this kind of incommensurability mayappeal to externalist or naturalized epistemology. These (related)approaches reject the idea that for a method to yield knowledge itmust be independent of any particular theory, perspective, orhistorical/cognitive circumstance. So long as the method has anappropriate kind of reliability it can generate knowledge. Contraryto the internalist view characteristic of the positivists (and, itappears, shared by Kuhn) the reliability of a method does not need tobe one that must be evaluable independently of any particularscientific perspective. It is not the case, for example, that thereliability of a method used in science must be justifiable by apriori means. Thus the methods developed in one era may indeedgenerate knowledge, including knowledge that some previous era gotcertain matters wrong, or right but only to a certain degree. Anaturalized epistemology may add that science itself is in thebusiness of investigating and developing methods. As science developswe would expect its methods to change and develop also.