Progress, Progress-Branching, Kuhn-Loss and Rationality in Science
The concept of progress as applied to normal science in the sense of Kuhn, i.e., of progress with the basic core retained, has already been discussed in § 5. In addition, the last paragraph of § 5 pointed out an ambiguity of “progress” in the sense of “progress with respect to confirmation”. It can either refer to such progress according to the convictions of the scientific community which belongs to the historical sequence of pragmatically enriched nets, or it can mean confirmatory progress from the viewpoint of the philosopher (and historian) analysing these phenomena. The first could be called confirmatory progress on the object-level and the second confirmatory progress on the meta-level. We have realized that these two meanings of “progress” can, and often will, diverge from each other. Nevertheless, for the sake of simplicity, we shall use in this section only one undifferentiated notion of progress. This will do no harm, because the reader can, at any point, use either interpretation mentioned.
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