Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Incommensurability: non-comparability. Expression by Thomas Kuhn (Th. Kuhn, The structure of scientific revolutions, 1962). Kuhn argues that scientific theories which are replaced in the course of time use terms which are altered in their meaning, and therefore make a comparison of, e.g. measurement results impossible and thus also a comparison of statements.

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Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

 
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Thomas S. Kuhn on Incommensurability - Dictionary of Arguments

I 210
Theory/Incommensurability/Theory Choice/Kuhn: Ultimately, theories are chosen for personal and subjective reasons and not by relying on good reasons since the reasons are incommensurable. ((s) The incommensurability results from historical changes in meanings of concepts, focus on problems, interests.)
I 209
Change of meaning/Concept change/Kuhn: Since the vocabularies of discussions about new theories consist predominantly of the same terms some of these expressions must be applied differently to nature. - Consequently, the superiority of one theory over another is not to be proven in the discussion.
>Meaning Change/Kuhn, >Observation Language/Kuhn, >Interpretation, >Critics against Kuhn; see also >Interests.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Kuhn I
Th. Kuhn
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Chicago 1962
German Edition:
Die Struktur wissenschaftlicher Revolutionen Frankfurt 1973


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2021-04-12
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