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How to Identify Scientifc Revolutions?

By Erik Weber and Dunja Seselja


Conceptualizing scientific revolutions by means of explicating their causes, their underlying structure and implications has been an important part of Kuhn's philosophy of science and belongs to its legacy. In this paper we show that such “explanatory concepts” of revolutions should be distinguished from a concept based on the identification criteria of scientific revolutions. The aim of this paper is to offer such a concept, and to show that it can be fruitfully used for a further elaboration of the explanatory conceptions of revolutions. On the one hand, our concept can be used to test the preciseness and accuracy of these conceptions, by examining to what extent their criteria fit revolutions as they are defined by our concept. On the other hand, our concept can serve as the basis on which these conceptions can be further specified. We will present four different explanatory concepts of revolutions – Kuhn's, Thagard's, Chen's and Barker's, and Laudan's – and point to the ways in which each of them can be further specified in view of our concept

Topics: Philosophy and Religion, Research traditions, scientific revolutions, taxonomic changes
Publisher: CFCUL
Year: 2010
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