Conceptual Revolutions in Science
By now, most analytical philosophers are accustomed to putting their thoughts about morals into a different box from their thoughts about science. By doing this, however, one may conceal the fact that, at the heart of both ethics and the philosophy of science, there lies a common problem — the problem of evaluation. Human conduct can be rated as acceptable or unacceptable, fruitful or misguided, can be approved of or judged inadequate. But so can human ideas, theories, explanations. And this is no simple play on words. In either case — whether moral or intellectual — we can inquire about the standards, criteria or other considerations involved in an evaluative appraisal, and about the bearing of those ‘considerations’ on the actual force and implications of the appraisal. So it is worth asking ourselves, from time to time, whether ethics and philosophy of science might not be more alike than they at present are.
KeywordsGrowth Form Nomen Nudum Common Possession Peripheral Skeleton Radial Tract
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- 1.These correspond closely, indeed, to the ‘ideals of natural order’ of ‘paradigms’ — the term was borrowed from Wittgenstein — discussed in my 1960 Mahlon Powell Lectures at Indiana University, published in 1961 as Foresight and Understanding.Google Scholar
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- 11.A difficulty could be raised at this point, which will be discussed in a later chapter of the projected book. For the distinction between ‘internal’ and ‘external’ factors applies clearly and cleanly only to ‘compact’ traditions, i.e. traditions which are the professional concern of coherent groups of men, sharing common aims, activities, and standards of judgment. In the case of more ‘diffuse’ traditions, it becomes less clear what exactly ‘internal’ factors are internal to. This connection between the structure of intellectual traditions and the structure of the professions which are their bearers is important, and needs close examination.Google Scholar
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