PHIL 2180 Chapter Notes - Chapter 6: Relativism, Normal Science
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Chapter 6: Kuhn and Revolutions
How do revolutions occur? They occur after the appearance of a crisis and a new candidate theory.
Change within normal science is orderly and responsive to evidence.
Some believe that his claim of how revolutions occur is wrong. As they say that not all large scale
revolutions were caused by a crisis, but by just an appearance of a new and better idea.
Incommensurable: Not comparable by use of a common standard or measure.
Problem of Incommensurability:
1. People in different paradigms will not be able to fully communicate with each other.
Both people may use the same terms, but they will have different meanings.
This claim was seen as a little overstated.
2. Even when communication is possible, people in different paradigms will use different
standards of evidence and argument.
Some people believed that only mathematically formulated law was necessary.
While other believed that understanding the mechanism of something was.
Relativism: Tend to hold that the truth or justification of a claim, or the applicability of a rule or
standard, depends on one’s situation or point of view.
Progress in Science:
1. Progress will be seen by the victors of the new paradigm. This new paradigm will appear as
2. Later paradigms have more overall problem-solving power, hence scientific progress.
Chapter X: Kuhn’s most radical claims.
Kuhn believes that the world is essentially paradigm-relative and changes along with science.
People believe that this is untrue. They believe that the world does not change, maybe only your view
of the world changes.
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