Kuhn, Feyerabend, And In Commensurability

Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 153)

The development of the logical empiricist and Popperian conceptions of scientific progress in terms of the Deductive Model has shown each to suffer a serious drawback: the empiricist view affords no conception of theory conflict, and the Popperian view provides no consistent conception of progress itself. Nevertheless, the intuitive notions motivating each of these philosophies of science, considered independently of the model, appear quite sound. One is still inclined to admit that, in some sense, succeeding theories do subsume their rivals, and that, in spite of this, such theories conflict with one another. Thus we might accept, for example, a description of theory succession in which the superior theory is said to explain both what its rival is able to explain, as well as certain of those states of affairs which are considered anomalous to the rival. But the problem here lies in the failure of the Deductive Model, and consequently the failure of both the empiricist and Popperian conceptions of science, to provide an account of this sort of phenomenon. And, as regards the employment of the model itself, we may add to this the problem of meaning variance, and the very question as to whether scientific theories have the form of universal statements, as the model suggests.

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© Springer 2007

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