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Commentary on Bird’s Paper

  • Paul Hoyningen-Huene
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 255)

It is a pleasure to comment on Professor Bird’s paper because it is part of the excellent work he has done on Kuhn’s philosophy (most importantly Bird, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005). His work is especially valuable to me because for the first time an author has provided a fully worked out interpretation of Kuhn that appears to be a real alternative to my own. His alternative interpretation has been intellectually liberating, offering a possible exit sign out of a reading of Kuhn that appeared unavoidable to me. Bird is entirely justified in stressing those elements in Kuhn’s theory that he calls “naturalistic”, providing a contrast to those elements that I stressed and that may be termed “Neo-Kantian”.

However, in the present paper Bird suggests an exciting new possibility that neither he nor I have seriously considered before, namely a possible reconciliation between the naturalistic and the Neo-Kantian view of Kuhn regarding world change (p. 36). In this commentary, I would like to pursue this line because it appears to be fruitful. Let me begin by first pinning down the contrast that is at issue.

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References

  1. Bird, A. (2000) Thomas Kuhn. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Bird, A. (2002) Kuhn’s Wrong Turning. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 33, 443–463.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bird, A. (2003) Kuhn, Nominalism, and Empiricism. Philosophy of Science, 70(4), 690–719.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bird, A. (2004) Kuhn, Naturalism, and the Positivist Legacy. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 35, 337–356.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bird, A. (2005) Naturalizing Kuhn. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 105, 109–127.Google Scholar
  6. Einstein, A. (1949) Remarks Concerning the Essays Brought Together in this Co-operative Volume. In: P. A. Schilpp (ed.). Albert Einstein: Philosopher-Scientist,Vol. 2, La Salle: Open Court, pp. 665–688.Google Scholar
  7. Hoyningen-Huene, P. (1993) Reconstructing Scientific Revolutions: Thomas S. Kuhn’s Philosophy of Science. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  8. Rosenthal-Schneider, I. (1949) Presuppositions and Anticipations in Einstein’s Physics. In: P. A. Schilpp (ed.). Albert Einstein: Philosopher-Scientist, Vol. 1, La Salle: Open Court, pp. 131–146.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Hoyningen-Huene
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Philosophy and Ethics of ScienceUniversity of HannoverGermany

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