The Problem of the Incommensurability and Relations Among Theories

  • Władysław Krajewski
Part of the Epistème book series (EPIS, volume 4)


The whole search for logical relationships among theories has been threatened by some philosophers of science who claim that rival theories in science are usually (or always) incommensurable. T.S. Kuhn says that two theories divided by a scientific revolution are incommensurable because the meaning of the terms and even the whole world-image change radically in the course of the revolution (Kuhn, 1962). P.K. Feyerabend claims that all rival theories, even simultaneous ones, use different concepts and different language, and therefore are incommensurable (Feyerabend, 1962a). Later on Feyerabend noticed the temporal coincidence of the word ‘incommensurable’ as employed by him and Kuhn, at the same time pointing out certain differences between them (Feyerabend, 1970). Some other philosophers of science expressed similar ideas even earlier: N.R. Hanson who stressed the theory-ladenness of facts, the determination of each observation by a theory (Hanson, 1958), S. Toulmin who claimed that phenomena are determined by an ideal of natural order (Toulmin, 1961) and some others.


Scientific Revolution Meaning Variance Rival Theory Incompatible Statement Common Sense Knowledge 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Władysław Krajewski

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