© 1987

Roads to Commensurability


Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 187)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. David Pearce
    Pages 1-13
  3. David Pearce
    Pages 90-120
  4. David Pearce
    Pages 154-183
  5. David Pearce
    Pages 184-218
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 219-260

About this book


How many miles to Babylon? Three-score and ten. Can I get there by candle-light? Yes, and back again. If your heels are nimble dnd light, You may get there by candle-light. Any philosopher who takes more than a fleeting interest in the sciences and their development must at some stage confront the issue of incommensurability in one or other of its many manifes­ tations. For the philosopher of science concerned with problems of conceptual change and the growth of knowledge, matters of incommensurability are of paramount concern. After many years of skating over, skimming through and skirting round this issue in my studies of intertheory relations in science, I decided to take the plunge and make the problem of incommensurability the central and unifying theme of a book. The present volume is the result of that decision. My interest in problems of comparability and commensurability in science was awakened in the formative years of my philosophi­ cal studies by my teacher, Jerzy Giedymin. From him I have learnt not only to enjoy philosophical problems but also to beware of simpleminded solutions to them. The vibrant seminars of Paul Feyerabend held at Sussex University in 1974 left me in no doubt that incommensurability was, and would remain, a major topic of debate and dispute in the philosophical study of human knowledge.


Paul Feyerabend concept dynamics growth human knowledge indeterminacy knowledge logic model ontology present rationality reduction science translation

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Freie Universität BerlinGermany

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Roads to Commensurability
  • Authors D. Pearce
  • Series Title Synthese Library
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1987
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-90-277-2414-4
  • Softcover ISBN 978-94-010-8180-1
  • eBook ISBN 978-94-009-3777-2
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XI, 260
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Philosophy of Science
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


` .. I do recommned the reviewed book as excellent and rewarding reading. It is written vividly, lucidly and competently. '
Studia Logica