The Role of Informal Logic in the Kuhnian Scientific Change

Laki, János (2012) The Role of Informal Logic in the Kuhnian Scientific Change. In: Logic in Central and Eastern Europe: History, Science, and Discourse. University Press of America, New York, pp. 614-630. ISBN 978-0761858911

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Looking back at the half a century long debate about Kuhn, the paper registers an older relativist and a recent continuist line of interpretation. Adherents of the former regarded Kuhn as claiming that scientific theories are socially constructed in the strictest sense of the word, therefore, paradigm changes are irrational conversions and progress is excluded. Faced with these awkward corollaries, the continuists focussed on those passages in Kuhn’s texts that allow a cumulative and continuous interpretation of history. The understanding offered here is in line with the continuist one, although carefully avoids its quasi-positivist and convergent realist exaggerations. The gist is that from the very beginning of his career, Kuhn has regarded science as a special institution of Western culture governed by values of its own. The replacement of the requirement of hard evidence with common values facilitated a change from formal to informal logic. Adherents of incommensurable paradigms are not in the position of being able to provide conclusive proofs, nevertheless, thanks to the common culture, they can offer persuasive arguments. These are sufficient to preserve the rationality of the paradigm changes and thereby provide an interpretation of the progress of science in the long run.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion / filozófia, pszichológia, vallás > BA Epistemology / ismeretelmélet
Depositing User: dr. János Laki
Date Deposited: 11 Dec 2013 13:05
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2013 07:46

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