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Scientific change and the meanings of terms : an examination of PK Feyerabend's incommensurability thesis

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dc.contributor.author Mizroch CA en
dc.date.accessioned 2016-09-22T09:16:23Z
dc.date.available 2016-09-22T09:16:23Z
dc.date.created 1975 en
dc.date.submitted 1976 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11892/52210
dc.description.abstract Shows that Feyerabend's incommensurability thesis concerning scientific change engenders a number of logical problems. The defects implicit in his arguments for the theory are said to arise from the conjunction of presuppositions and theses that form the background to his claims for an incommensurability thesis. This background contains Feyerabend's criticisms of the traditional empiricism of the twentieth century and its reductionist account of scientific development, his objections to any attempt to rationalise science, his claim that there are fundamental conceptual and ontological changes in science, and his adoption of a meaning variance thesis which envisages changes in the meanings of all descriptive terms when one theory is replaced by another. Feyerabend's attack on Lakatos' rational reconstructionism is shown to be inconclusive. The suggestion that there are fundamental conceptual changes in science is open to criticism. The case against radical meaning variance is more complex as it requires the support of a theory of meaning. It is not clear that Feyerabend can provide a suitable theory of meaning to support his claims. Although his objections to traditional empiricism are sound and a thesis of meaning variance is acceptable, these do not give rise to the view that competing theories are incommensurable. Historical evidence shows the need to take into consideration the gradual nature of scientific development. This is compatible with a moderate thesis of meaning variance and a modification of the network model. en
dc.language English en
dc.subject Philosophy en
dc.subject Philosophy of science en
dc.title Scientific change and the meanings of terms : an examination of PK Feyerabend's incommensurability thesis en
dc.type Masters degree en
dc.description.degree MA en


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