Can Kuhn’s Taxonomic Incommensurability Be an Image of Science?

In Moti Mizrahi (ed.), The Kuhnian Image of Science: Time for a Decisive Transformation? London: Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 61–74 (2018)
  Copy   BIBTEX


I criticize Kuhn’s (1962/1970) taxonomic incommensurability thesis as follows. (i) His argument for it is neither deductively sound nor inductively correct. (ii) It clashes with his account of scientific development that employs evolutionary theory. (iii) Even if two successive paradigms are taxonomically incommensurable, they have some overlapping theoretical claims, as selectivists point out. (iv) Since scientific revolutions were rare in the recent past, as historical optimists observe, they will also be rare in the future. Where scientific revolution is rare, taxonomic incommensurability is rare, and taxonomic commensurability is common. For these reasons, taxonomic commensurability rather than incommensurability should be advanced as an image of science.

Author's Profile

Seungbae Park
Ulsan National Institute Of Science And Technology


Added to PP

374 (#51,099)

6 months
80 (#68,610)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?