Thomas Kuhn's Misunderstood Relation to Kripke-Putnam Essentialism

Read, Rupert and Sharrock, Wes (2002) Thomas Kuhn's Misunderstood Relation to Kripke-Putnam Essentialism. Journal for General Philosophy of Science, 33 (1). pp. 151-158. ISSN 0925-4560

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Abstract

Kuhn's ‘taxonomic conception’ of natural kinds enables him to defend and re-specify the notion of incommensurability against the idea that it is reference, not meaning/use, that is overwhelmingly important. Kuhn's ghost still lacks any reason to believe that referentialist essentialism undercuts his central arguments in SSR – and indeed, any reason to believe that such essentialism is even coherent, considered as a doctrine about anything remotely resembling our actual science. The actual relation of Kuhn to Kripke-Putnam essentialism, is as follows: Kuhn decisively undermines it – drawing upon the inadequacies of such essentialism when faced with the failure of attempts to instantiate in history or contemporaneously its ‘thought-experiment’ – and leaves the field open instead for his own more ‘realistic’, deflationary way of thinking about the operation of ‘natural kinds’ in science.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: chemistry,essentialism,kripke,kuhn,natural kinds,putnam,reference,twin-earth,water
Faculty \ School: University of East Anglia > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Philosophy
Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2013 15:16
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2019 15:39
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/45080
DOI: 10.1023/A:1020755503087

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