Comment on Zev Bechler’s Paper ‘What have they done to Kuhn?’

  • Robert E. Butts
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 145)


Zev Bechler takes exception to my thesis of the functional identity of philosophy and science.1 I think that his views on what follows from the rejection of this identity are both philosophically errant and politically artless, and therefore dangerous. Especially bothersome is his vigorous support of the contention that the intellectual residue available to philosophers of science is apology: philosophy of science is not an intellectual discipline at all; philosophers of science cannot investigate, they can only apologize for science. But apology is not substantive, it is the result of apologizing — apologetics is a social role. On this (corrupt) reading of the role of philosophers of science they cannot even criticize. The kind of role classically apportioned to critics of literature and the other arts cannot be their role, because what they say can never be determined to be either true or false, even in principle.


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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert E. Butts
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Western OntarioCanada

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