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New & Forthcoming Titles | Rethinking Scientific Change and Theory Comparison: - Stabilities, Ruptures, Incommensurabilities?

Rethinking Scientific Change and Theory Comparison:

Stabilities, Ruptures, Incommensurabilities?

Soler, Léna, Sankey, H., Hoyningen-Huene, Paul (Eds.)

2008, X, 395 p.

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  • Represents the most recent thinking on the topic of incommensurability and scientific theory change
  • Each individual chapter appears with a critical commentary that typically represents an opposing viewpoint
  • Reflects and promotes interaction between French philosophy of science and philosophers of science from English-language philosophy of science

The volume is a collection of essays devoted to the analysis of scientific change and stability. It explores the balance and tension that exists between commensurability and continuity on the one hand, and incommensurability and discontinuity on the other. And it discusses some central epistemological consequences regarding the nature of scientific progress, rationality and realism. In relation to these topics, it investigates a number of new avenues and revisits some familiar issues, with a focus on the history and philosophy of physics, and an emphasis on developments in cognitive sciences as well as on the claims of "new experimentalists".

The book is constituted of fully revised versions of papers which were originally presented at the international colloquium held at the University of Nancy, France, in June 2004. Each paper is followed by a critical commentary. The conference was a striking example of the sort of genuine dialogue that can take place between philosophers of science, historians of science and scientists who come from different traditions and endorse opposing commitments. This is one of the attractions of the volume.

Content Level » Professional/practitioner

Keywords » Incommensurability - Ludwig Wittgenstein - Scientific realism - Scientific revolutions - Theory change - idea - objectivity - quantum mechanics - reason - science

Related subjects » Epistemology & Philosophy of Science - Philosophy

Table of contents 

Incommensurability, As Differences in Quasi-Intuitive Cognitive Capacities: A Task for Psychology?.- Incommensurability Naturalized.- Commentary on Bird’s Paper.- Incommensurability in a Wittgensteinian Perspective: How to Make Sense of Nonsense.- Nonsense and Paradigm Change.- Commentary on “Nonsense and Paradigm Change”, by Aristides Baltas.- Intra-Theoretical Change, as a Subjective Creative Elucidation of an Objective Formerly Present Content.- From One Version to the Other: Intra-Theoretical Change.- Commentary on “From One Version to the Other: Intra-Theoretical Change”, by Anouk Barberousse.- Investigating the Continuities of Scientific Theorizing: A Task for the Bayesian?.- Modeling High-Temperature Superconductivity: Correspondence at Bay?.- An Instrumental Bayesianism Meets the History of Science.- From the Cumulativity of Physical Predictions to the Cumulativity of Physics.- Is Science Cumulative? a Physicist Viewpoint.- Commentary on “is Science Cumulative? a Physicist Viewpoint”, by Bernard d’Espagnat.- From Denotational Continuity to Entity Realism.- The Optimistic Meta-Induction and Ontological Continuity: the Case of the Electron.- Some Optimism for the Pessimist.- Is a Realist Interpretation of Quantum Physics Possible?.- Can We Consider Quantum Mechanics to Be a Description of Reality?.- Commentary on “Can We Consider Quantum Mechanics to Be a Description of Reality?”, by Herve Zwirn.- Ontological Continuity: A Policy for Model Building or an Argument in Favour of Scientific Realism?.- Reasons for Choosing Among Readings of Equipollent Theories.- Harré Needs No Realism.- A Change of Perspective: Dissolving the Incommensurability Problem in the Framework of a Theoretical Pluralism Incorporating an Instrumental Rationality.- Of Course Idealizations Are Incommensurable!.- Incommensurability from a Modelling Perspective.- What Can Philosophical Theories of Scientific Method Do?.- The Aim And Structure Of Methodological Theory.- Method and Objectivity.- A New Kind of Incommensurability at the Level of Experimental Practices?.- The Incommensurability of Experimental Practices: An Incommensurability of What? An Incommensurability of A Third Type?.- Some Reflections on Experimental Incommensurability.- Pragmatic Breakdowns: A New Kind of Scientific Revolution?.- Disruptive Scientific Change.- Scientific Revolutions: the View from Inside and the View from Outside.

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