Topoi

, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 53–57

Kuhn as Perspectival Realist

Authors

    • Center for Philosophy of ScienceUniversity of Minnesota
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11245-012-9142-y

Cite this article as:
Giere, R.N. Topoi (2013) 32: 53. doi:10.1007/s11245-012-9142-y

Abstract

In this essay I argue that T. S. Kuhn, at least in his later works, can be regarded as a perspectival realist. This is a retrospective interpretation based mainly on the essays published posthumously under the title The Road Since Structure (Kuhn 2000). Among the strongest grounds for this interpretation is that Kuhn explicitly states that one must have a “lexicon” in place before raising questions about the truth or falsity of claims made using elements of the lexicon. This, in a linguistic framework, can be understood as an affirmation of perspectival realism. The essay concludes with an examination of Donald Davidson’s famous paper, “On The Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme,” arguing, along lines Kuhn himself suggested, that Davidson’s presentation is no threat to his notion of a conceptual scheme, or, I would add, a theoretical perspective.

Keywords

Kuhn Perspectivism Realism Davidson

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012