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

In The Kuhnian Image of Science: Time for a Decisive Transformation? London: pp. 61–74 (2018)
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Abstract

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.

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Seungbae Park
Ulsan National Institute Of Science And Technology

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