Carnap and Kuhn on linguistic frameworks and scientific revolutions

Manuscrito 36 (1):190 (2013)
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Abstract

Several recent works in history and philosophy of science have re-evaluated the alleged opposition between the theses put forth by logical empiricists such as Carnap and the so-called "post-positivists", such as Kuhn. Although the latter came to be viewed as having seriously challenged the logical positivist views of science, recent authors (e.g., Friedman, Reisch, Earman, Irzik and Gr├╝nberg) maintain that some of the most notable theses of the Kuhnian view of science have striking similarities with some aspects of Carnap's philosophy. Against that reading, Oliveira and Psillos argue that within Carnap's philosophy there is no place for the Kuhnian theses of incommensurability, holism, and theory-ladenness of observations. This paper presents each of those readings and argues that Carnap and Kuhn have non-opposing views on holism, incommensurability, the theory-ladenness of observations, and scientific revolutions. We note at the very end - without dwelling on the point, however - that they come apart on other matters, such as their views on metaphysics and on the context of discovery/justification distinction.

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Gilson Olegario
University of Campinas (PhD)

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