On the Structure of Physics as a Science
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No one doubts that the historicist turn in Philosophy of Science has considerably shaken - to say the least - the way logical empiricism pictured science. The problem areas and the particular questions that this turn brought with it and the older ideas it shed its own light on (theory change, scientific progress, theory ladenness, the Duhem-Quine thesis and its consequences, incommensurability etc.) created a wholly new image within which the traditional distinctions (e.g. context of justification/context of discovery, internal/external history) became blurred, if not explicitly and thoroughly erased. However, as it usually happens in Philosophy, the problems and questions which made up the historicist movement and constituted its force were many times posited and reposited, they were amply discussed from many different angles but, after all, they were not “solved” (or dissolved) - at least in a way that did built up a substantial consensus. The net result is that disillusionment has replaced the excitement and the high hopes that the historicist movement created in its heyday. Thus, the pendulum is swinging back towards more general and more traditionally philosophical issues: Realism, rationality, new variants of empiricism attract more and more the attention of practitioners in the field.
KeywordsPhysical Phenomenon Natural Phenomenon Material Point Instantaneous Velocity Conceptual System
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- 1.I discuss this claim in some detail in A. Baltas “Louis Althusser and Joseph D. Sneed: A Strange Encounter in Philosophy of Science?” Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge: Twenty Years After. An International Conference in Memory of Imre Lakatos. Thessaloniki, Greece, August 1986. To be published.Google Scholar